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The aim of this paper is to offer an empirical insight into the spatial effects of growth of regional income and disparities across EU regions (NUTS 2). Since regions are spatial units and there are interrelated standard linear regression is not sufficient to evidence the convergence process. Two models (Spatial Lag Model – SLM and Spatial Error model – SEM), derived from spatial econometrics, have been used to identify and explain spatial effects in convergence clubs—all EU countries (EU-28), countries that entered the EU in 2004 (EU-13) and countries that were in EU prior to 2004 (EU-15). Unconditional and conditional β-convergence has been examined in the period 2000-2015 thus covering two financial perspectives (including n + 2 rule3). Dummy variables have been also applied to catch the country-specific effects, such as national policies, legislation, technology progress, etc.
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Background: The intensity of innovation could often be crucial for further economic development of the regions. Science and technology are often seen as the key factor supporting innovation in the regions. Furthermore, we can assume that higher intensity of research activities could lead to better economic performance.
Objectives: Research aims to examine the link between the economic performance of the region and the intensity of science and technology activities, proxied by the share of employees in science and technology.
Methods/Approach: The analysis is based on panel data for NUTS2 regions of the European Union (EU) member states. We conducted correlation analysis, panel Granger causality tests and regression analysis.
Results: Our results suggest the existence of a significant positive correlation between GDP per capita and the share of employees in science and technology. Moreover, the regions with a higher intensity of science and technology activities are mostly characterized by relatively low unemployment rates.
Conclusions: Research activities are positive correlated with regional GDP and negatively correlated with unemployment. However, increasing the share of employment in science and technology beyond a certain turning point would not lead to any further positive effects on regional economic performance.
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