Monastiriotis, Vassilis (2014) Regional growth and national development: transition in Central and Eastern Europe and the regional Kuznets curve in the East and the West. Spatial Economic Analysis, 9 (2). pp. 142-161. ISSN 1742-1772
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Regional disparities in Central and Eastern Europe rose substantially since 1990. Still, prima facie evidence of beta-convergence is often found in the CEE data. To reconcile this seeming paradox, we sketch out and test empirically a hybrid model of regional growth that draws on the regional Kuznets curve and incorporates aspects of cumulative causation and neoclassical convergence. In both CEE and the ‘old’ EU15, regional convergence is strongly linked to the level of national development, non-linearly. But while in the EU15 convergence speeds-up at intermediate/high levels of development, in CEE we find divergence at intermediate levels of national development and no significant return to convergence thereafter. Although this may show that overall development levels are not sufficient yet to mobilise regional convergence, it is also possible that non-convergence is attributable to centripetal forces instigated by the process of transition.
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