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Catching-Up Opportunities of East-Central European States in the Context of Technology Cycles

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Abstract

In the frames of the classic centrum–periphery concept, East-Central Europe has always been regarded as a semi-periphery of core Europe. Thus, catching up with more developed European countries has remained a topical issue throughout the region’s last 200 years. If we take a closer look at historic periods’ convergence performance we can see substantial differences. This paper tries to find explanations for the above-average performance in the context of technological opportunities. The evolutionary theory of technology change provides a suitable analytical framework for this purpose. The exercise then tries to figure out if catching-up of the ECE periphery was more successful in the technological introduction periods (with strong innovative processes and above-average human knowledge usage) or in the capital intensive deployment periods when innovations spread throughout the economy. The paper concluded that relative convergence was achieved in some introduction periods due to smaller exposure to economic crises. Convergence occurred also in some deployment technology phases supported by major investment projects that were financed by external sources. Thus, convergence when achieved was strongly influenced by external factors. This corroborates with the theoretical works emphasizing the asymmetric interdependence in the centrum–periphery relationships.

Keywords

  • Convergence
  • Technology cycles
  • East-Central Europe
  • Catching up

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Fig. 4.1

(Source Own construction based on Maddison project database 2018)

Fig. 4.2

(Source Own construction based on Maddison project database 2018)

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Szanyi, M. (2021). Catching-Up Opportunities of East-Central European States in the Context of Technology Cycles. In: Gerőcs, T., Ricz, J. (eds) The Post-Crisis Developmental State . International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-71987-6_4

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