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- 10 May 2018
- ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLEEconomic Bulletin Issue 3, 2018Details
- This article establishes stylised facts about convergence and analyses the sources of economic growth in central, eastern and south-eastern European (CESEE) economies within and outside the European Union (EU).22 It also compares the performance across countries and identifies the challenges that these economies face on the way to further advancing convergence. Although all CESEE economies have converged towards the most advanced EU economies since 2000, progress has been heterogeneous. While some countries have experienced fast economic growth and a speedy catching-up, for others the catching-up process has been rather slow. Economic convergence has been much faster in the CESEE countries that became members of the EU (including those which later joined the euro area) than in the Western Balkan countries that are currently EU candidates or potential candidates. Convergence was particularly rapid before the global financial crisis, but slowed down thereafter. The article identifies several factors that are common to the most successful countries in the region in terms of the pace of convergence since 2000. These include (inter alia) improvements in institutional quality, external competitiveness and innovation, increases in trade openness, high or improving levels of human capital, and relatively high investment rates. Looking ahead, accelerating and sustaining convergence in the region will require further efforts to enhance institutional quality and innovation, reinvigorate investment, and address the adverse impact of population ageing. For EU candidates and potential candidates, EU accession prospects might constitute an anchor for reform momentum – in particular, but not exclusively, in the key area of enhancing institutional quality – and thus support the long-term growth prospects and real convergence of these countries.
- JEL Code
- E01 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General→Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth, Environmental Accounts
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
O11 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Development→Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O43 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Institutions and Growth
O47 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity→Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity, Cross-Country Output Convergence