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REGIONAL DYNAMICS AND CONVERGENCE PROFILES IN THE ENLARGED EUROPEAN UNION: A NON-PARAMETRIC APPROACH

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ABSTRACT

This paper examines the evolution of spatial disparities in labour productivity in the enlarged European Union, using data on 250 NUTS-2 regions over the period 1991–2003. To achieve this aim, a non-parametric approach that allows us to analyse the external shape and dynamics of the entire cross-sectional distribution has been applied. The estimates show the distribution under consideration to have a bimodal structure, which raises the possible presence in this context of a polarisation pattern characterised by two internally homogeneous regional clusters. The evidence presented does nevertheless suggest a process of convergence over the sample period, despite a relatively low degree of intra-distribution mobility. Factors such as the geographical location of the various regions, agglomeration economies or the sectoral composition of economic activity have also been examined for their role in explaining the observed disparities.
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Keywords: Disparities; European Union; distribution dynamics; enlargement process; productivity; regions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Corresponding author. Department of Economics, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain., Email: Roberto.Ezcurra@uclm.es 2: Department of Economics, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadia s/n, 31006 Pamplona, Spain., Email: mrapun@unavarra.es

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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