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Bulgarian NUTS2 Regions’ Beta- and Sigma- Convergence Towards the Eurozone

Petar Peshev ()

Economic Alternatives, 2022, issue 1, 17-34

Abstract: In this scientific article Bulgarian regional economic convergence has been investigated in the 2000 – 2018 period. Beta- and sigma-convergence tests have been performed on Bulgarian regional data using level 2 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS 2). By using panel econometric modelling Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and structural Gross value added (GVA) are subject to the economic convergence investigation. Bulgarian NUTS 2 regions seem to converge with the average value for the Eurozone, however the upward development is quite uneven. The results suggest that unconditional beta-convergence can be justified for both types of variables and it can be concluded that Bulgarian regions narrow the gap with the Eurozone averages. Perhaps the sigma-convergence hypothesis cannot be justified since differences among regions grow with time. The most economically and socially developed NUTS 2 region in Bulgaria, Yugozapaden region, widens the gap with the rest five regions in respect to GDP per capita and differs considerably in terms of the structure of GVA. At the beginning of the period GVA generated by less productive economic activities in Agriculture, forestry and fishing took a larger share in GVA in comparison to the Eurozone but managed to converge at the end of the period.

Keywords: beta-convergence; sigma-convergence; NUTS 2 regions; regional convergence; panel regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O47 R11 R15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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