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Economic integration, regional structural change and cohesion in the EU new member-states

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  • Dimitris Kallioras

    ()

  • George Petrakos

    ()

  • Georgios Fotopoulos

    ()

Abstract

The European economic landscape has changed dramatically during the last decade, following the collapse of the bi-polar world. The parallel and interacting processes of economic integration and transition are the driving forces of these changes. In this context, the EU new member-states (including the candidate countries of Bulgaria and Romania) have experienced, often forcefully and painfully, the impact of these processes as a pre-condition for catch-up and integration with the prosperous EU-15 countries. Being still in progress, these processes have altered the intraregional division of labor, affecting the patterns of regional specialization and industrial concentration and increasing the level of interregional competition and inequalities, in a newly emerged internationalized environment. The extent and the impact of these changes, however, are still issues of major scientific dialogue and concern, with many unknown parameters. The need for this first period of transition and economic integration (decade of 90s) to be re-evaluated is evident concerning the mobility of economic activities and possible re-location of industries, the behaviour of the individual regions, the dynamics of regional discrepancies and the stability of the territorial structures. The overall scientific objective of this paper is to identify and explain in a cross-country and comparative analysis the structural industrial patterns in the area of EU new member-states bringing together the findings and reports of the scientific bibliography. Furthermore, a static and dynamic analysis takes place in order to uncover in more depth the possible relation between economic integration, regional structural change and cohesion in these countries. To this direction, a number of research questions are addressed: What is the impact of economic integration to the evolution of regional industrial patterns? Have advanced and lagging-behind regions developed similar or different types of specialization? What is their mix of activities? Over time, do they become more similar or dissimilar? Have metropolitan regions the same mix of activities with peripheral and border regions? Do their economic structures become more similar or dissimilar over time? Are there particular types of structural change more closely related to strong growth performance? The main part of the analysis is conducted on a basis of employment data, as a proxy for industrial structures in NUTS III spatial level, disaggregated by manufacturing branches according to NACE rev.1 two-digit classification. Emphasis is given to the countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Estonia due to lack of statistical information (regional-structural figures) for the other countries under research. However, despite this shortcoming, the country sample of our analysis can be considered representative of the whole area since it covers all its parts i.e. Southeastern Europe–Balkans (Bulgaria, Romania), Central Europe (Slovenia, Hungary), Eastern Europe–Baltic (Estonia). The research covers the period between 1990 and 1999, a period of extreme significance since it includes both the shocks and the upsets of the early transition (sub-period 1991–1995) and the recent, more independent, trends (1995–1999). The reported findings and conclusions of this research may be a valuable basis for the understanding of the impact of economic integration on regional structure change and cohesion and, as a result, be the basis for the discussion of the appropriate policies of cohesion in the enlarged EU-27.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitris Kallioras & George Petrakos & Georgios Fotopoulos, 2005. "Economic integration, regional structural change and cohesion in the EU new member-states," ERSA conference papers ersa05p383, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p383
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hallet, Martin, 2002. "Income convergence and regional policies in Europe: results and future challenges," ERSA conference papers ersa02p080, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Brown, D. & Deardorff & A. & Djankov, S. & Stern, R., 1995. "An Economic Assessment of the Integration of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland into the European Union," Papers 8, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
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    4. Resmini, Laura, 2002. "European integration and adjustment in border regions in accession countries," ERSA conference papers ersa02p193, European Regional Science Association.
    5. George C. Petrakos, 1996. "The Regional Dimension of Transition in Central and East European Countries: An Assessment," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 5-38, October.
    6. Saul Estrin & Alan Bevan & Klaus Meyer, 2001. "Institution Building and the Integration of Eastern Europe in International Production," One Europe or Several? Working Papers 16, One-Europe Programme.
    7. Nitsch, Volker, 2002. "Border effects and border regions: Lessons from the German unification," HWWA Discussion Papers 203, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
    8. Bode, Eckhardt & Krieger-Boden, Christiane & Siedenburg, Florian & Soltwedel, Rüdiger, 2005. "European integration, regional structural change and cohesion in Spain," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3766, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. George Petrakos & Andres Rodríguez-Pose & Antonis Rovolis, 2003. "Growth, Integration and Regional Inequality in Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa03p46, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Suhrcke, Marc, 2001. "Preferences for inequality : East vs. West," HWWA Discussion Papers 150, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
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    12. Arjan Lejour & Ruud de Mooij & Richard Nahuis, 2001. "EU enlargement: economic implications for countries and industries," CPB Document 11, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    13. Dimitris Kallioras & Georgios Fotopoulos & George Petrakos, 2004. "Patterns of Regional Specialization and Sectoral Concentration of Industrial Activity in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Estonia," ERSA conference papers ersa04p89, European Regional Science Association.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Grigor Sariiski & Stoyan Totev, 2005. "Specialisation of Regions in Bulgaria by Processing Industry Sectors," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 42-59.
    2. Soltwedel, Rüdiger & Krieger-Boden, Christiane, 2007. "The impact of European integration and enlargement on regional structural change and cohesion: EURECO. Final report," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 4243, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Cristobal, Adolfo, 2007. "Trade and migration: a U-shaped transition in Eastern Europe," MPRA Paper 3446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Vassilis Monastiriotis, 2008. "The Emergence of Regional Policy in Bulgaria: regional problems, EU influences and domestic constraints," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 15, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    5. Stoyan Totev, 2006. "Comparative Analysis of the Processes of Regional Specialization and Concentration in EU," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 67-89.

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