European integration, productivity growth and real convergence: evidence from the new member states
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We estimate the determinants of labor productivity growth in 8 new European Union (EU) member states that joined the Union in 2004. Our focus is on the impact of globalization and EU integration efforts on labor productivity growth. Previous studies test the impact of trade using either exports or trade openness. We also test the impact of imports separately on labor productivity growth. Using panel data for 1995-2006 period, we find that globalization has mixed effects. FDI and exports improve productivity, but imports hurt it. Regarding domestic variables, we find that human capital is the most important source of labor productivity growth in the new member states. There is also considerable adjustment of labor productivity towards EU15 levels, indicating significant "catching up" and hence real convergence. Policy implications of the findings are also discussed. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.