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Heading for Divergence? Regional Growth in Europe Reconsidered*

Jan Fagerberg () and Bart Verspagen

Journal of Common Market Studies, 1996, vol. 34, issue 3, 431-448

Abstract: This article analyses regional growth in the European Union (EU) in the postwar period. We examine the levels and growth of per capita GDP for a sample of 70 regions, covering six of the EU Member States. We find that after a slow, but steady reduction of differences in GDP per capita across European regions during most of the post‐war period, there are now some signs of a reversal in this trend. This does not imply that differences in levels of productivity and income across European regions are now reduced to a negligible level. Rather, the explanation is that other variables, notably R&D effort, investment support from the EU, the structure of GDP and differences in unemployment have had a diverging impact. We also find some support for the idea of a ‘Europe at different speeds’, with at least three different ‘growth clubs’ characterized by different dynamics, productivity and unemployment levels.

Date: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:34:y:1996:i:3:p:431-448