Convergence and Disparities in Household Economic Welfare in the European Union
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Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Poznaniu, Wydział Ekonomiczno-Społeczny, Katedra Ekonomii i Polityki Gospodarczej w Agrobiznesie
Submission date: 2018-01-25
Acceptance date: 2018-07-11
Publication date: 2018-09-30
GNPJE 2018;295(3):103–124
The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether, and to what extent, reduced disproportions in per capita GDP across European Union countries in the 2003–2015 period were reflected by a reduction of disparities in household welfare, measured with gross adjusted disposable incomes and consumption expenditure per capita. The convergence processes, both at the EU28 level and in sub-groups consisting of EU15 and EU13 countries, were identified based on β and σ convergence coefficients. As shown by the results, the convergence of per capita GDP among EU28 countries was accompanied by an increasing convergence of household welfare. At the same time, the gross adjusted disposable incomes of households and consumption expenditure were found to converge faster than per capita GDP. The processes were primarily determined by positive dynamic changes taking place in EU13 countries. Convergence models were developed for the selected variables, but did not provide a basis for concluding whether convergence took place in the 2010–2015 period both across the entire EU and within the groups of new and old member states. This was due to several reasons, including economic difficulties that affected the condition of households in southern Europe, especially Greece.