Adoption of Technology and Regional Convergence in Europe
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This paper examines the pattern of convergence in labour productivity across regions due to their ability to adopt technology. Whether regions exhibit a pattern of convergence depends on the degree to which infrastructure conditions are appropriate for the adoption of technological improvements. The ability of a region to adopt or create technology is reflected in the percentage of its labour force employed in technologically dynamic sectors or, more generally, in the resources devoted to science and technology. A high percentage of labour employed in technologically advanced sectors leads a region to a pattern of convergence. This hypothesis is tested using data for the NUTS-2 regions of the EU-27 during the time period 1995-2006. The results suggest that adoption of technology has a significant and positive effect on regional convergence in Europe. The analysis is also shown to have important implications for the direction of regional policy in Europe. To be more specific, regional policies, in order to enhance regional growth and convergence, should encourage employment in advanced technological sectors.