Uneven Development in the EU and Divergence in Regional Indicators
An analytic essay discussing whether uneven development is the norm in the EU and if divergence in regional indicators will continue to persist.
# 154157 | 2,724 words | 47 sources | 2014 |
Published on Apr 14, 2015 in Economics (International) , Economics (Macro) , European Studies (European Union)
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Neil Smith describes uneven development as "the self-evident truth that societal development does not take place everywhere at the same speed or in the same direction" (1982:142). This paper will therefore seek to determine how the EU can maximise convergence whilst taking into account several of these criteria in a theoretical context. First, the statement that uneven development is the norm will be verified. Secondly, Neo-classical theories arguing that convergence will occur eventually shall be evaluated, followed by the factors that inhibit convergence.
From the Paper:"The first question to answer is whether unequal development is in fact the norm. Some may think that trade liberalisation between nations as a result of globalisation would have boosted productivity and subsequently harmonise development trends (Edwards, 1998). However, the validity of this conclusion depends on the scale chosen: Sala-i-Martin claims that "global poverty rates have declined significantly over the past three decades", but during the same period, "within-country inequality" increased (2006:389). Figures show that the European Union is no exception to this trend: In 2012, "unemployment rates across the E.U. varied by more than 20 percentage points" (Eurostat, 2013:66). The GDP per capita in purchasing power standards index reveals further disparities: In Belgium, in 2012, it amounted to 120% of the E.U. average, while in Bulgaria it amounted to only 47% (Eurostat, 2013).
"Uneven development across regions can be attributed to certain predispositions that set them at an advantage or a disadvantage compared to others (Porter, 1980). These predispositions include superior human capital, infrastructure and connectivity, which lead to a concentration of activity in certain areas, known as "industrial clusters" (Porter, 1980). For instance, the Munich area in Germany is a hub for the automotive industry, which has encouraged development of related industries involving innovation, engineering and mechanics. Reasons for Munich's success in these sectors include a highly educated population (with a high concentration of skilled engineers), regional policies favouring high technology, and high federal research and development expenditure (Sternberg & Tamasy,1999).
"Others blame a pattern of gentrification that consistently prejudices the working class by driving them to poorer zones for perpetuating inequalities (Smith, 1982). In London, for instance, middle class demand is driving up house prices in previously poor neighbourhoods such as Hackney and Elephant and Castle, while poorer inhabitants move further out of the city (Atkinson, 2000; The Economist, 2013). Consequently, poverty is never eradicated, but rather in a constant state of flux from one area to another. From the data collected and the views presented above, it cannot be denied that uneven development in the EU is the reality. However, whether this state of divergence is likely to persist into the future is left to be examined."
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Uneven Development in the EU and Divergence in Regional Indicators (2015, April 14) Retrieved August 18, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/uneven-development-in-the-eu-and-divergence-in-regional-indicators-154157/
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