Convergence, growth and EU structural funds

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Λουκέρη, Ασπασία
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This dissertation examines the topic of convergence in GDP per capita within the European Union and the possibility of the policy of Structural Funds actually contributing to the reduction of economic disparities among the Member States. Starting from the Solow-Swan model of growth and based on literature discussing various growth determinants, it is tested to what extent any catch-up processes correlate to Structural Fund payments and factors such as investment in capital, openness, government e ffectiveness and distinctions in time periods. Using single-equation estimation techniques on country data over 2000-2013, there appears to be evidence of an overall GDP per capita convergence of at least 2% per year, with the 2008-2009 global crisis period negatively affecting growth and the quality of institutions being important, but the hypothesis of a positive, statistically significant impact of Structural Funds on growth and convergence in the whole of the European Union is rejected.
Growth regression, Absolute convergence, Conditional convergence, Convergence speed, Beta convergence, Sigma convergence, Club convergence, Growth factors, GDP per capita, Panel data, Random effects, Fixed effects, GMM, Structural funds, European Union crisis