A theoretical review on the structural convergence issue and the relation to economic development in integration areas

Open access


The aim of the paper is to provide a consistent literature review on the importance of structural convergence for the countries within the same economic area focusing on two main topics: the structural similarity problem of countries within an integration area and the evolution and development of the union itself (in line with Chenery and Singer’s approach). We aim to synthesize the most referential findings of the literature and project them on the most recent events in the European Union pointing out the relevance of structural convergence and of the continuation of the process under a reassessed form. The relevance of studying the structural convergence process lies in the medium and long term implications related to the synchronization of business cycles, long-run development patterns and of the dynamics of specialization. Moreover, the topic is of high interest both in the context of the future evolution of the European Union and in the decision making process of adopting the Euro in Romania’s case. On the side of theoretical papers, there is a rich literature on structural change that generally recommends that economic structures and the differences between them should be the starting point for analysis and development of theories of economic development. We believe that the preoccupations for this topic should be recalled in the context of the European events and new facets should be explored. Along with the views expressed in the European Commission White Paper, that the form will follow the function, we emphasize the importance of designing the proper institutions at European Union and Eurozone level, but also at national level with taking into consideration the goal of advancing towards structural convergence.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abegaz B. (2002). Structural Convergence in Manufacturing Industries between Leaders and Latecomers Journal of Development Studies 38(4) 69-99

  • Barrios S. Barry F. & Strobl E. (2002). FDI and Structural Convergence in the EU Periphery. Mimeo University College Dublin.

  • Beck K. (2014). Structural Similarity as a Determinant of Business Cycle Synchronization in the European Union: A Robust Analysis. Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe 5(2).

  • Berardino Di C. Mauro G. Quaglione D. & Sarra A. (2017). Structural change and the sustainability of regional convergence: Evidence from the Italian regions. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 35(2) 289-311.

  • Branson W. H. Guerrero I. & Gunter B. G. (1998). Patterns of Development.

  • Brixiova Z. M. Morgan & A. Wörgötter (2009). Estonia and Euro Adoption: Small Country Challenges of Joining EMU OECD Economics Department Working Papers No. 728 OECD. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/220860037027.

  • Brülhart M. (1998). Economic geography industry location and trade: the evidence. The World Economy 21(6) 775-801.

  • Buti M. & Turrini A. (2015). Three waves of convergence. Can Eurozone countries start growing together again? VOX CEPR’s Policy Portal. Retreived from: http://voxeu.org 17 April 2015.

  • Chenery H.B. (1960). Patterns of Industrial Growth American Economic Re-view 50(4) 624-654.

  • Chenery H.B. (1975). The Structuralist Approach to Development Policy American Economic Review 65(2) 310-331.

  • Chenery H.B. (1979). Structural Change and Development Policy Oxford Uni-versity Press Oxford.

  • Chenery H.B. & Taylor L. (1968) Development Patterns: Among Countries and Over Time Review of Economics and Statistics 50(4) 391-416.

  • Chenery H. (1982). Industrialization and Growth the Experience of Large Countries World Bank Staff Working Papers Number 539.

  • Chenery H. B. & Syrquin M. (1975). Patterns of Development: 1950-1970 New York: Oxford University Press for the World Bank.

  • Chilian M. N. Iordan M. & Pauna C. B. (2016 December). Real and structural convergence in the Romanian counties in the pre-accession and post-accession periods. In ERSA conference papers (No. ersa16p320). European Regional Science Association.

  • Chong C. Y. Habibullah M. S. Baharumshah A. Z. & Midi H. (2017). Structural Convergence Among ASEAN Economies. Advanced Science Letters 23(9) 8747-8751.

  • Cincibuch M. & Vávra D. (2000). Towards the EMU: A Need for Exchange Rate Flexibility? Reihe Transformationsökonomie Transition Economics Series July 2000 No 17 Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna Retreived from: http://irihs.ihs.ac.at/1268/1/te-17.pdf.

  • Crespo N. & Fontoura M. P. (2010). Determinant factors of structural similarity at the regional level: evidence from Portugal. Applied Econometrics and International Development 10 (1) 81-93.

  • Cuadrado-Roura J. R. García-Greciano B. & Raymond J. L. (1999). Regional convergence in productivity and productive structure: The Spanish case. International Regional Science Review 22(1) 35-53.

  • Dima A. M. (Ed.). (2014). Handbook of Research on Trends in European Higher Education Convergence. IGI Global.

  • Dima M.A. and Vasilache S. (2016). Trends in the internationalization of European higher education in a convergence perspective. Management & Marketing. Challenges for the Knowledge Society 11(2) 449-457.

  • Dunkel T. (2009). The Bologna process between structural convergence and institutional diversity. European journal of vocational training 46(1) 174-195.

  • EEAG (2011). The EEAG Report on the European Economy CESifo Munich Retreived from: http://blog.iese.edu/xvives/files/2011/09/Report-on-the-European-Economy-2011.pdf

  • European Commission (2015). The European Higher Education Area in 2015: Bologna Process Implementation Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  • European Commission (2016). The 2016 Convergence Report: Assessment of Member States regarding the conditions for euro adoption Brussels 7 June 2016.

  • European Commission (2017). White Paper on the Future of Europe. Reflections and scenarios on the EU27 by 2025 Bruxelles ISBN: 978-92-79-66241-6 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Export Citation
  • Fagerberg J. (2000). Technological progress structural change and productivity growth: a comparative study. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 11 393-411.

  • Fertő I. (2016). Structural transformation in Central and Eastern European countries' agriculture: Convergence or Divergence?. ADVANCES IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS 4(10) 547-552.

  • Frankel J. A. & Rose A. K. (1997). Economic Structure and the Decision to Adopt a Common Currency. Stockholm University Institute for International Economic Studies Seminar Papers 611.

  • Garcia-Herrero A. & J. Ruiz (2005). How Much do Trade and Financial Linkages Matter for Business Cycle Synchronization? Retreived from/: www.eco.uc3m.es/jruiz/TFSynchronization.pdf.

  • Guerrieri G. & S. Iammarino (2003). The Dynamics of Export Specialisation in the Regions of the Italian Mezzogiorno: Persistence and Change. SPRU Electronic Working Papers No. 105.

  • Gugler K. & M. Pfaffermayr (2004). Convergence in Structure and Productivity in European Manufacturing?. German Economic Review 5 61-79.

  • Höhenberger N. & Schmiedeberg C. (2008). Structural Convergence of European Countries center for European. Governance and economic development research discussion papers. No. 75 July. CeGE Discussion Paper Retreived from: https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/32002

  • Imbs J. şi Wacziarg R. (2003). Stages of Diversification American Economic Review 93 3(1) 63-86.

  • Jackson R.W. Hewings G.J.D. & Sonis M. (1989) Decomposition Ap-proaches to the Identification of Change in Regional Economies Economic Geography 65(3) 216-231.

  • Jackson R.W. Rogerson P. Plane D. & Huallachain O. B.. (1990). A Causa-tive Matrix Approach to Interpreting Structural Change Economic Systems Research 2(3) 259-269.

  • Ju J. Lin J.Y. & Wang Y. (2009). Endowment Structures Industrial Dynamics and Economic Growth. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5055.

  • Juncker J. C. Tusk D. Dijsselbloem J. Draghi M.. & Schulz M. (2015). Completing Europe’s economic and monetary union. Retrieved from: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/5-presidentsreport_en.pdf

  • Karras G. (1997). Economic Integration and Convergence: Lessons from Asia Europe and Latin America. Journal of Economic Integration 12 (4) 419-432.

  • Knill C. (2005). Introduction: Cross-national policy convergence: concepts approaches and explanatory factors. Journal of European public policy 12(5) 764-774.

  • Krugman P. (1993). Lessons of Massachusetts for EMU. In Torres F. Giavazzi F. (Eds.). Adjustment and Growth in the European Monetary Union (pp. 241-261). Cambridge University Press.

  • Kuznets S. (1956). Quantitative Aspects of the Economic Growth of Nations: I. Levels and Variability of Rates of Growth. Economic Development and Cultural Change. 5 (1) 5-94.

  • Landesmann M. (2000). Structural change in the Transition Economies 1989-1999 Economic Survey of Europe 2.

  • Longhi C. & A. Musolesi (2007). European cities in the process of economic integration: towards structural change Annuals of Regional Science 41 333-351.

  • Marelli E. Signorelli M. & Tyrowicz J. (2012). Crises and Joint Employment-Productivity Dynamics: A Comparative Perspective for European Countries. Comparative Economic Studies 54(2) 361-394.

  • Melihovs A. & Kasjanovs I. (2011). The Convergence Processes in Europe and Latvia. Latvijas Banka Discussion Papers 2011/01.

  • Midelfart-Knarvik K. H.G. Overman S.J. Redding & A.J. Venables (2000). The Location of European industry European Commission (Eds.). European integration and the functioning of product market Brussels 213-270.

  • Miron D. Dima A. & Paun C. (2009). A model for assessing Romania's real convergence based on distances and clusters methods. Munich Personala RePEc Archive MPRA No. 31410 pp. 1-18

  • Mongelli F. P. Reinhold E. & Papadopoulos G. (2016). What's so special about specialization in the euro area? Early evidence of changing economic structures. Occasional Paper Series 168 European Central Bank.

  • Paci R. & Pigliaru F. (1997). Structural change and convergence: an Italian regional perspective. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 8(3) 297-318.

  • Palan N. & Schmiedeberg C. (2010). Structural convergence of European countries. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics 21(2) 85-100.

  • Pigliaru F. (2003). Detecting Technological Catch‐Up in Economic Convergence. Metroeconomica 54(2‐3) 161-178.

  • Prados de la Escosura L. P. (2007). European patterns of development in historical perspective. Scandinavian Economic History Review 55(3) 187-221.

  • Qiu J. (2014). Crisis in the Eurozone: Analyzing the EMU under the Framework of Optimum Currency Area Theories (Doctoral dissertation).

  • Sassi M. (2007 April). Structural change and economic convergence across the Eu-15 regions: can the agricultural sector play a role. In Agricultural Economics Society s 81st Annual Conference University of Reading UK 2nd to 4th.

  • Scharpf F. W. (2016). Forced Structural Convergence in the Eurozone-Or a Differentiated European Monetary Community.

  • Snaith H. (2014). Narratives of optimum currency area theory and eurozone governance. New Political Economy 19(2) 183-200.

  • Srinivasan T. N. & M. G. Quibria (2009). Technological Progress Factor Endowments and Structural Change: A Note. The Bangladesh Development Studies 32(4) 95-105. Retrieved from http://www.bids.org.bd/.

  • Teichler U. (2012). International student mobility in Europe in the context of the Bologna Process. Journal of International Education and Leadership 2(1) 1-13 Retrieved from http://www.jielusa.org/.

  • Wacziarg R. (2004). Structural convergence. Manuscript Stanford University. Retrieved from http://cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/.

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 388 273 14
PDF Downloads 228 149 9