Economic Convergence and Divergence in Europe
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Economic Convergence and Divergence in Europe

Growth and Regional Development in an Enlarged European Union

Edited by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Peter Mooslechner

This highly topical book addresses the challenge of economic convergence within Europe, beginning with a thorough review of the theory of growth and related empirical research. Historical and more recent economic developments within the present EU and current accession countries are discussed, along with the design for the process of further integration of accession countries into the EU and the Euro area. Moreover, the potential to achieve a sustainable catch-up process in Western Balkan countries, the Ukraine and Russia is explored, focusing on the task facing the EU in designing proper policies vis-à-vis these countries. The contributors’ varied perspectives ensure that the theories and policies postulated are linked closely with the actual situation in accession countries and offer up-to-date insights.
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Chapter 7: Keynote speech: Convergence and divergence Â… theoretical underpinnings

Xavier Sala-i-Martin


7. Keynote speech: Convergence and divergence – theoretical underpinnings Xavier Sala-i-Martin 7.1. INTRODUCTION BY PETER MOOSLECHNER Xavier Sala-i-Martin received his PhD from Harvard in 1990. Since then he has researched in diverse fields, such as the theory of growth, human capital investment, public finance and social security as well as money and inflation, has received widespread attention in the academic world and has published contributions in numerous high-ranking economic journals. While covering these diverse research interests, Professor Sala-i-Martin has always maintained a focus on the issue of economic growth and in particular on the empirics of growth. In this field he is one of the leading researchers in the academic world. His best-selling textbook co-authored by Robert Barro as well as numerous papers in this area bear clear testimony to this. Xavier Sala-iMartin’s professional affiliation covers renowned institutions such as the NBER and the CEPR, and his academic career has led him from Harvard to Yale and recently to Columbia University, where he serves as full professor. His contribution is entitled ‘Convergence and divergence: theoretical underpinnings’. He addresses some of the basic issues of modern growth theory and their relationship to convergence and divergence. This helps to provide some understanding of the future of economic performance in countries in Eastern, Central and – as discussed in previous chapters – Western Europe. 7.2. LECTURE BY XAVIER SALA-I-MARTIN: CONVERGENCE AND DIVERGENCE – THEORETICAL UNDERPINNINGS Let me discuss why we economists might be or are interested in the topic of economic convergence. In the process...

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