Economic Growth and Change
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Economic Growth and Change

National and Regional Patterns of Convergence and Divergence

Edited by John Adams and Francesco Pigliaru

The pursuit of economic growth is at the top of every nation’s policy agenda at the end of the 20th century. This authoritative and comprehensive book goes beyond the narrowly-based convergence model of economic growth by considering global, national and regional patterns of growth from a comparative perspective.
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Chapter 11: The European Union's regional development programmes: allocation of funds by basic macroeconomic indicators1

Gustav Schachter, Carmelina Bevilacqua and Levanto Schachter


Page 279  11. The European Union’s regional development programmes:  allocation of funds by basic macroeconomic indicators1  Gustav Schachter, Carmelina Bevilacqua and Levanto Schachter  The European Union (EU) targets investments and loans at subsidiary regions in order to alleviate spatial disparities, with the intent of achieving greater equity and  cohesion. Despite modest convergence in regional incomes per capita in the 1960s, a steadfast core–periphery pattern of inequality has persisted, notwithstanding the  adoption of a sequence of national and Union policies and appreciable enlargement of the flows of supposedly palliative resources. The objective of this chapter is to  see to what extent the allocations of the EU’s regional development funds and official loans have followed simple macroeconomic characteristics of the regions.  Because official efforts at securing better spatial balance in the EU’s subsidiary economies have not succeeded, alternative allocation criteria may need to be identified.  OVERVIEW OF EU POLICIES AND DISPARITIES  A commitment to a regionally predicated policy was made at the 1972 Conference of the European Council, which issued a call for action to diminish spatial  imbalances. To abet intervention, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) was created in 1975 and the Social Fund followed in 1989. The adoption of the  Single European Act in 1987 took into account the obduracy of interregional divergence; therefore, it directed the Union and the member states to work towards  economic cohesion. Resources have thereafter increased: they doubled from ECU 7.2 billion in 1987 to ECU 14.5 billion in 1995.  The Single European Act...

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