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Spatial dynamics and agglomeration forces in the external EU periphery

Dimitris Kallioras (), Vassilis Monastiriotis () and George Petrakos ()
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Dimitris Kallioras: University of Thessaly
Vassilis Monastiriotis: London School of Economics and Political Science
George Petrakos: University of Thessaly

The Annals of Regional Science, 2018, vol. 60, issue 3, 591-612

Abstract: Abstract The countries belonging to the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) of the EU are characterized by significant socioeconomic transformations and—more recently—by disconcerting instances of social and political turmoil. This comes to add to social and economic pressures applied to these countries under their process of market liberalization and economic integration, instigated at least in part by the very ENP process. In those conditions, questions of spatial cohesion and thus of regional convergence and divergence become increasingly salient, as the elimination of (social and) spatial imbalances is both a precondition for the legitimacy and successful implementation of the reforms aiming at market liberalization and economic integration and a core objective of such reforms. In this paper, we examine the spatial dynamics of population growth in the ENP countries prior to the recent destabilization in the region, using two complementary approaches—an analysis of the impact of agglomeration on growth and an analysis of club formation in population concentrations (convergence–divergence). We find that, on the whole, the ENPCs South space was characterized in recent years by evidence of regional convergence in the sense that population concentrations were becoming more diffused across regions; while the ENPCs East exhibited stronger and more consistent evidence of regional divergence (increased concentration of population). These findings suggest that agglomeration and cumulative causation forces are more strongly in operation in the more advanced, at least in terms of EU relations, countries of the ENP East, where also the “pull” factor of the EU economy is stronger.

JEL-codes: C13 C14 R11 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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