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Convergence or Divergence? Types of Regional Responses to Socio-Economic Change in Western Europe

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Testing for convergence or divergence has recently become the kernel of the studies dealing with regional growth in Western Europe. The contradictory results of these analyses, however, still do not allow us to determine which is the dominant trend. This paper shows that our understanding of these processes depends on factors such as the way growth is measured and the influence of national growth on regional growth patterns. When these factors are taken into account, the analysis of the evolution of regional disparities in Western Europe in the last two decades uncovers the emergence of growth patterns that are closely related to the capacity of every space to respond to the challenges generated by the process of socio-economic restructuring.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, London, UK

Publication date: 1999-11-01

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