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SOCIAL CONVERGENCE IN NORDIC COUNTRIES AT REGIONAL LEVEL

Marta Kuc ()
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Marta Kuc: Gdansk University of Technology, Poland

Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 2017, vol. 12, issue 1, 25-41

Abstract: Research background: Geographical proximity, common historical roots and collaboration within the Nordic Council cause the Nordic countries to be often wrongly treated as mono-liths. However, in reality, Nordic regions differ in terms of broadly defined social and eco-nomic development. Issues concerning the standard of living are one of the priorities of the Helsinki Treaty signed by Nordic countries. Purpose of the article: The main goal of this paper is to analyze the existence of the social convergence in the Nordic NUTS-3 regions over the 2000-2015 period. The social conver-gence refers to a reduction in the dispersion of the standard of living across regions. The results of this analysis may be helpful in evaluating the efficiency of the activities under third and fourth Nordic Strategy for Sustainable Development. Methods: The spatial taxonomic measure of development proposed by Pietrzak was used as the standard of living approximation. Inclusion of spatial relationships in the construction of taxonomic measure of development is justified as regions are not isolated in space and can be affected by other units. The existence of beta-, sigma- and gamma convergence was tested for global spatial aggregate measure and as well for sub-groups of determinants forming the standard of living. Findings & Value added: The analysis showed that the regions with the highest standard of living are those situated on the west coast of Norway. Regions with the lowest standard of living were the ones located in central Finland. However, the most important part of this research was to investigate the existence of beta-, sigma- and gamma- social convergence. The results show that there is no convergence for global standard of living measure. However, the convergence occurs in groups of determinants of education and health care.

Keywords: social convergence; Nordic regions; standard of living; taxonomy; spatial taxonomic measure of development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C10 C43 I31 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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