FIW Working Papers | 2015-01

The EU, a Growth Engine? The Impact of European Integration on Economic Growth in Central Eastern Europe

This paper investigates how the European integration process of central eastern European countries, which has been taking place since the 1990’s, affects their GDP growth. Based on an augmented Solow model, I estimate a convergence equation for a panel of ten countries over 16 years (1995-2010). In the regression, trade with the other European Union member states as a share of total trade serves as a measure of European integration. I find a small, but significant medium-run growth bonus from integration, which is robust to alternative specifications of the regression equation and of the variables of interest. The results are confirmed by a supplementary analysis at the industry level using a difference-in-difference type of estimation strategy. The paper thus provides an argument in favour of European integration.