GROWTH DISPARITIES AMONG REGIONS OF THE VISEGRAD GROUP COUNTRIES: AN EVIDENCE OF THEIR EXTENT AND NATURE
Uneven regional development is generally understood as a problem of growing importance. Leaders of the European Union (EU) aim to actively address this issue, which can be manifested, for example, by the fact that one of the pivotal long-term and ongoing goals of EU regional policy is to combat regional disparities, which is directly based on Article 174 of the consolidated Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU, 2010).
Jméno a příjmení autora:
Pavel Zdražil, Petra Applová
Visegrad Group, Central Europe, regional disparities, productivity, growth, EU enlargemen
DOI (& full text):
The deepening of regional disparities is an issue of increasing importance that has been systematically emphasized in the EU policy, especially since the process of “Eastern Integration” has started.…více
The deepening of regional disparities is an issue of increasing importance that has been systematically emphasized in the EU policy, especially since the process of “Eastern Integration” has started. The paper focuses on the Visegrad Group countries whose regions are less developed in the EU context. The aim of the research is to assess the development of disparities in regional economic performance of the Visegrad Group countries, to identify how the factors of economic growth determine these disparities, and partly to assess whether the integration of the Visegrad Group countries into the EU inﬂuenced the development of regional disparities in these countries. For the analysis of disparities during 2000–2013 we selected an approach of measuring real convergence (sigma-convergence). Disparities were measured in the context of a breakdown of the GDP per capita into sub-components, reﬂecting on the development of disparities in productivity and employment. The results show that, although regions of the Visegrad Group countries converged towards the EU average and also in terms of the Visegrad Group as a whole, regional disparities within countries rather increased. This led to a paradox where, although the objective of reducing regional disparities across the EU was satisﬁed, from a national perspective disparities increased. The Labour productivity factor, with its dominant yet steadily growing contribution, is the main determinant of disparities in the performance of the Visegrad Group regions. Other sources of disparities are characterized by a stable development or convergence. Only Polish regions deviated from the general conclusions, since the extent of disparities among them grew constantly, and the nature of disparities was the Labour participation rate. In terms of the impact caused by accession into the EU, the measured changes were rather minor and the identiﬁed trends had mostly been in place before the Visegrad Group countries entered the EU.