East–West European Integration: Patterns of Catching-Up and Labour Market Implications
The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 was the most significant historical event to shape European political and economic developments in the past 20 years. In this paper we shall review the principal features of East-West European economic integration with a focus on economic developments in Central, Eastern and Southeastern (C–E–SE) Europe. We shall see that there are distinct phases in the economic development of different groups of countries in this region and that these phases also shape the extent to which development of the region determine the degree to which East-West European economic development shapes overall European economic development.
Section 2 reviews the aggregate growth processes and shows that the countries of this region have increasingly become active drivers of the overall growth process in Europe. Section 3 discusses the changing patterns of specialization between the different groups of countries in C–E–SEEurope and Western Europe, and we shall put this in the context of more general global patterns of international specialization between advanced and catching-up economies. Section 4 finally analyses a number of structural features of labour market developments in C–E–SE Europe and also discusses the implications of the emerging patterns of intra- European specialization for labour markets both in Western and Eastern Europe. Section 5 provides conclusions to our findings.
KeywordsEmployment Growth Advanced Economy Western Balkan Country Skill Composition Little Develop Country
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