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SOCIAL CONVERGENCE IN EUROPE

Marta Kuc ()
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Marta Kuc: Nicolaus Copernicus University

No 4/2013, Working Papers from Institute of Economic Research

Abstract: The main goal of this article is to analyze the existence of social convergence in Europe. In the literature, an emphasis is put on an economic convergence, often without taking into consideration the social convergence. However, from the point of view of sustainable development social area is as much important as economic one. In this paper social convergence refers to a reduction in the dispersion of the standard of living across countries. Due to the fact that the standard of living is an interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional category which is difficult to quantified in a direct manner, the synthetic variable was used as it’s approximation. In order to verify that the social convergence process has place in Europe the occurrence of sigma and beta-convergence was tested. The analysis was conducted for 30 European countries in 2005-2011. The empirical material was taken from databases published by Eurostat, Euromonitor and the World Health Organization. The results indicate that in 2005-2011 the ?-convergence occurred. However, the pace of that convergence is very slow. During analyzed period, ß-convergence also appeared, which means that in countries with a lower standard of living (e.g. Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Estonia) a faster rate of improvement of the standard of living was observed, than in countries with higher standard of living (e.g. Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland).

Keywords: social convergence; the standard of living; beta convergence; sigma convergence; multidimensional analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 13 pages
Date: 2013-02, Revised 2013-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme
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Published in Problemy gospodarki swiatowej TOM IV, edited by Magdalena Kuczmarska, Ilona Pietryka, Institute of Economic Research and Polish Economic Society Branch in Torun, Torun 2014

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