Growth and Regional Development in an Enlarged European Union
Edited by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell and Peter Mooslechner
Chapter 10: Regional disparities within accession countries
Roman Römisch 10.1. INTRODUCTION Not long ago – in my student days – I made a short visit to Prague. Most of the time I just behaved as any other ordinary tourist; wandering around in the inner city I was impressed by the marvellous historical buildings. Even more impressive seemed to me the stage of development of the Czech capital – there were almost no diﬀerences to what I was used to from Vienna. However, one day I decided to visit the place where Mozart ﬁnished his famous opera Don Giovanni – the Bertramka villa which lies somewhat outside the old town in the suburbs. I noticed with some surprise that the suburbs of Prague are not as nice to look at as the inner city and I suddenly realized that it is not always wise to take the old town of Prague as pars pro toto1 for the rest of the city or even the country. Today, being a researcher on regional economic development, I know that these regional diﬀerences exist within the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. However the fact that the Oesterreichische Nationalbank has invited me, an as yet not very distinguished economist, to write about regional disparities in the CEE countries shows that this knowledge is not very widespread. As a consequence this chapter is structured to raise the general knowledge about the CEE regions, starting oﬀ in the ﬁrst section with some basic facts about regional disparities in per capita GDP and unemployment rates. The...
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