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HOW MANY EUROPES? VARIETIES OF CAPITALISM, DIVERGENCE AND CONVERGENCE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE EUROPEAN SERVICES LANDSCAPE

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ABSTRACT

The prospects for a single European economy or the existence of a variety of different European formations of capitalism are explored in the context of the enlargement of the EU in 2004 and 2007. Using evidence based on major sectoral trends, with particular reference to service industries, a comparative analysis of the ‘quantitative’ structure of the national economies of the EU Member States is undertaken. Convergence analysis is used to establish whether any common trajectories can be identified using the EU15 and the EU10 as the main pillars for the analysis. It is shown that a wide gap still exists between the two EU country groups, particularly in relation to the supply of the most advanced services. Catching up may occur in the long run but only if drivers such as market competition, better utilisation of information and communications technology, the introduction of innovative services, or upgrading service-specific knowledge and skills, are enabled.
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Keywords: European enlargement; Varieties of capitalism; convergence analysis; models of national service economies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Services and Enterprise Research Unit, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK. s: ; j.r.bryson@bham.ac.uk, Email: p.w.daniels@bham.ac.uk 2: Department of Applied Economy, University of Alcala, Alcala, Spain., Email: luis.rubalacaba@telefonica.net 3: Centre of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia., Email: metka.stare@quest.arnes.si

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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