IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

EU cohesion policy and the equity-efficiency trade-off - Adding dynamics to Martin's model


  • Dietmar Meyer


  • Jörg Lackenbauer



As a result of the combination of endogenous growth theory with the approach of the new economic geography (NEG), several models have been developed to explain spatial income inequality and to formulate possible policy strategies taking into account the equity-efficiency trade-off. The dynamics of this problem should be considered as fundamentally important for the enlargement of the EU, because with respect to the new Member States from Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs), EU cohesion policy is confronted with a double challenge: how can it contribute to attain higher national growth (and therefore convergence towards the EU average income per capita) and at the same time contribute to the decrease of regional disparities within the new Member States? This analysis is particularly appealing against the background of the alleged equity-efficiency trade-off that regional policies often suffer from. After the introduction, in the second part of this paper, some light is shed on this equity-efficiency trade-off in the framework of an overview surveying the theoretical literature on the issue. In the third part of the paper, a model presented by Philippe Martin (1999) is presented. Martin’s model combines the approaches of NEG and endogenous growth theory. In the fourth part, we develop a very simple dynamic version of the Martin model, followed by its formal analysis. We examine the effect of a monetary transfer to the poorer region, financed by the EU in the context of its cohesion policy interventions. In the fifth part, we derive some regional policy implications of the dynamised version of the Martin model. We find that there is a case for a “two step regional policy approach” in order to tackle the equity-efficiency trade-off challenge: this approach first aims to support the richer region and thus aggregate growth in the whole integrated area, and then to pursue an equity-oriented cohesion policy by fostering firm creation and innovation in the poorer region.

Suggested Citation

  • Dietmar Meyer & Jörg Lackenbauer, 2005. "EU cohesion policy and the equity-efficiency trade-off - Adding dynamics to Martin's model," ERSA conference papers ersa05p564, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p564

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    2. Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene, 2007. "Regional policy design: An analysis of relocation, efficiency and equity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1443-1467, August.
    3. Ricardo Azevedo Araujo & Joanílio Rodolpho Teixeira, 2004. "Structural economic dynamics: an alternative approach to North--South models," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 705-717, September.
    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. Jouko Kinnunen & Heikki Metsäranta & Hannu Törmä & Seppo Laakso & Urszula Zimoch, 2015. "Evaluation tool for wider economic effects of railway investments ? making CGE results accessible," ERSA conference papers ersa15p16, European Regional Science Association.

    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:ersa05p564. 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.