This paper examines the pattern of convergence in labour productivity across regions due to their ability to adopt technology. Whether regions exhibit a pattern of convergence depends on the degree to which infrastructure conditions are appropriate for the adoption of technological improvements. The ability of a region to adopt or create technology is reflected in the percentage of its labour force employed in technologically dynamic sectors or, more generally, in the resources devoted to science and technology. A high percentage of labour employed in technologically advanced sectors leads a region to a pattern of convergence. This hypothesis is tested using data for the NUTS-2 regions of the EU-27 during the time period 1995-2006. The results suggest that adoption of technology has a significant and positive effect on regional convergence in Europe. The analysis is also shown to have important implications for the direction of regional policy in Europe. To be more specific, regional policies, in order to enhance regional growth and convergence, should encourage employment in advanced technological sectors.


technological catch-up, regional convergence, European regions




ALEXIADIS, S. (2009), ‘A Model of Regional Convergence with Technology Adoption’, [in:] PAPADOURAKIS, G. and LAZARIDIS, I. (eds), New Horizons in Industry, Business and Education, Santorini, pp. 492-498.

ALEXIADIS, S. (2010), ‘Regional Convergence Clubs and Dynamic Externalities’, Italian Journal of Regional Science, 9 (1), pp. 41-64.

ALEXIADIS, S. and KORRES, G. (2009), ‘Technology Adoption and Spatial Interaction: Evidence from the European Regions’, [in:] MARKOWSKI, T., TURAŁA, M. and ŻUBER, P. (eds), Innovation and Space - European and National Approach, Warsaw: Polish Academy of Sciences, pp. 24-42.

ABRAMOVITZ, M. (1986), ‘Catching up, Forging Ahead and Falling Behind’, Journal of Economic History, 46 (2), pp. 385-406.

BERNARD, A. and JONES, C. (1996), ‘Technology and Convergence’, Economic Journal, 106 (437), pp. 1037-1044.

BOLDRIN, M. and CANOVA, F. (2001), ‘Inequality and Convergence in Europe's Regions: Reconsidering European Regional Policies’, Economic Policy, 16 (32), pp. 207-253.

BUTTON, K. and PENTECOST, E. (1995), ‘Testing for Convergence of the EU Regional Economies’, Economic Inquiry, 33 (4), pp. 664-671.

DURLAUF, S. and QUAH, D. (1999), ‘The New Empirics of Economic Growth’, [in:] TAYLOR, J. and WOODFORD, M. (eds), Handbook of Macroeconomics, 1, Amsterdam Elsevier, pp. 235-308.

ERTUR, C. and KOCH, W. (2005), ‘Une analyse exploratoire des disparités régionales dans l'Europe élargie’, Région et Développement, 21, pp. 65-92.

EZCURRA, R., GIL, C. and PASCUAL, P. (2005), ‘Regional Welfare Disparities: The Case of the European Regions’, Applied Economics, 37 (12), pp. 1423-1437.

FISCHER, M. and STIRBÖCK, C. (2006), ‘Pan-European Regional Income Growth and Club Convergence’, Annals of Regional Science, 40, pp. 693-721.

FUNKE, M. and STRULIK, H. (1999), ‘Regional Growth in West Germany: Convergence or Divergence’, Economic Modelling, 16 (4), pp. 489-502.

MARTIN, R. (2001), ‘EMU versus the Regions? Regional Convergence and Divergence in Euroland’, Journal of Economic Geography, 1 (1), pp. 51-80.

NEVEN, D. and GOUYETTE, C. (1995), ‘Regional Convergence in the European Community’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 33 (1), pp. 47-65.

First Page


Last Page