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The Impact of EU Membership on Economic Growth and Real Convergence of the Central and Eastern European Countries

Ryszard Rapacki and Mariusz Próchniak ()

Ekonomia journal, 2014, vol. 39

Abstract: In this article, we try to answer the question of whether the membership in the European Union contributed to the acceleration of economic growth of the 11 Central and Eastern European countries (CEE-11), including their real convergence to the development level of Western Europe (EU-15). In the first part of the study, we verify the hypothesis on the existence of convergence of GDP growth paths of the CEE-11 economies toward the EU-15. Our findings show that EU membership contributed significantly to the acceleration of economic growth of the CEE-11 countries. These countries exhibited a clear-cut catching-up process in income levels toward the EU-15. The convergence accelerated after EU enlargement but the results of individual countries were differentiated, partly as a result of the global financial crisis. In the second part of the research, we conduct an econometric analysis of the economic growth factors in order to assess the impact of the variables related with EU membership on GDP growth of the CEE-11 countries.

Keywords: economic growth; convergence; catching up; European Union; EU enlargement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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