IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What can Portugal learn from Ireland and to a less extent from Greece? An empirical approach searching for the sources of growth


  • Catarina Cardoso


  • Elias Soukiazis



The present paper focuses on the analysis of growth sources in Portugal, Greece and Ireland explaining the differences in economic performance between these three countries which constitute the “cohesion group” in the EU. During the nineties, Ireland has made a remarkable economic recovery, converging rapidly to the richest countries of the EU, while Portugal converged at a very modest rate. Greece is a peculiar example of having great difficulties of adaptation at the early years of its integration and only recently (since 1999) revealed signs of recovery in contrast to the slowdown of economic activity in Portugal. This raises the questions why was Ireland able to grow faster, which were the causes of its faster growth, and what can Portugal learn from the Irish success in economic improvement and the recent recovery of the Greek economy. This paper tries to shed light to these questions and to identify the main sources which drove economic growth in the three countries. Our evidence shows that differences in productivity levels, capital accumulation in human resources and technology, foreign direct investment and most of all export capacity are the main factors explaining differences in economic performance between these three countries. Keywords: per capita income, productivity, export-led growth, foreign trade elasticities and error correction models.

Suggested Citation

  • Catarina Cardoso & Elias Soukiazis, 2004. "What can Portugal learn from Ireland and to a less extent from Greece? An empirical approach searching for the sources of growth," ERSA conference papers ersa04p21, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p21

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ron A. Boschma & Jan G. Lambooy, 1999. "Evolutionary economics and economic geography," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 411-429.
    2. Feldman, Maryann P. & Audretsch, David B., 1999. "Innovation in cities:: Science-based diversity, specialization and localized competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 409-429, February.
    3. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
    4. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    5. Martin, Ron, 1999. "The New 'Geographical Turn' in Economics: Some Critical Reflections," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 65-91, January.
    6. Veall, Michael R & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1994. "Goodness of Fit Measures in the Tobit Model," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 56(4), pages 485-499, November.
    7. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    8. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
    9. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. Agarwal, Rajshree & Echambadi, Raj & Franco, April M. & Sarkar, M. B., 2002. "Knowledge Transfer through Congenital Learning: Spin-Out Generation, Growth and Survival," Working Papers 02-0101, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    11. Ron A. Boschma & Rik Wenting, 2004. "The spatial evolution of the British automobile industry," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0504, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2004.
    12. G. Buenstorf & S. Klepper, 2004. "The Origin and Location of Entrants in the Evolution of the U.S. Tire Industry," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-07, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    13. Bruderl, Josef & Preisendorfer, Peter, 1998. "Network Support and the Success of Newly Founded Businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 213-225, May.
    14. Meric S. Gertler, 2003. "Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or The undefinable tacitness of being (there)," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 75-99, January.
    15. Michael S. Dahl & Christian Ø.R. Pedersen & Bent Dalum, 2003. "Entry by Spinoff in a High-tech Cluster," DRUID Working Papers 03-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    16. Jan G. Lambooy & Ron A. Boschma, 2001. "Evolutionary economics and regional policy," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 35(1), pages 113-131.
    17. P Haug, 1991. "Regional Formation of High-Technology Service Industries: The Software Industry in Washington State," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 23(6), pages 869-884, June.
    18. Grimaldi, Rosa & Torrisi, Salvatore, 2001. "Codified-tacit and general-specific knowledge in the division of labour among firms: A study of the software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1425-1442, December.
    19. Constance E. Helfat & Marvin B. Lieberman, 2002. "The birth of capabilities: market entry and the importance of pre-history," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 725-760, August.
    20. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
    21. P Haug, 1991. "Regional formation of high-technology service industries: the software industry in Washington State," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 23(6), pages 869-884, June.
    22. Stuart, Toby & Sorenson, Olav, 2003. "The geography of opportunity: spatial heterogeneity in founding rates and the performance of biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 229-253, February.
    23. Casper, Steven & Whitley, Richard, 2004. "Managing competences in entrepreneurial technology firms: a comparative institutional analysis of Germany, Sweden and the UK," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 89-106, January.
    24. Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge codification and the geography of innovation: the case of Brescia mechanical cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1479-1500, December.
    25. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2003. "Mobility and Social Networks: Localised Knowledge Spillovers Revisited," KITeS Working Papers 142, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2003.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. António B. Moniz, 2008. "The transformation of work? A quantitative evaluation of changes in work in Portugal," IET Working Papers Series 07/2008, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p21. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.