Determinants of regional productivity growth in Europe: an empirical analysis
Discussion on the possibilities for and barriers to income convergence and catch-up growth is at the heart of the debate on European regional economic policy. This study presents an empirical analysis of the determinants of regional productivity growth in Europe, using the most recent Cambridge Econometrics regional database, EU KLEMS growth and productivity accounts and EuroStat R&D data. We apply a reduced-form empirical specification for semi-endogenous productivity growth that allows for differences in steady state income levels and long-run growth rates. Productivity growth in a region depends on its level of human capital, the investments in R&D, and the productivity gap with the technology frontier. Empirical findings show that these factors are interrelated. Apart from a technology gap, absorptive capacity is important to realize catch-up. Both convergence and divergence of productivity across regions are possible. Results show that all considered factors have significant effect on disparity in regional productivity growth, although effects across manufacturing and service sectors are different. The estimated model also features stable dynamic properties in response to an exogenous shock. Keywords: Semi-endogenous Growth, Regional Convergence, International Transfer of Technology, human capital, R&D.
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