Backwardness, Industrialisation and Economic Development in Europe


Amat Adarov, Mario Holzner and Luka Sikic

wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Paper No. 123, June 2016

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The present work uses long-term economic development data (1952-2010) as well as a detailed industry-level panel data (1963-2011) to analyse industrialisation patterns in Europe, implications of economic backwardness and the role of European integration in facilitating industrialisation and development. We find evidence of some income convergence in Europe, but mostly in countries that were able to exploit the ‘advantages of (mild) backwardness’. Regions of extensive backwardness such as the Balkans had difficulties to catch up. Membership in the European Union helped especially more backward economies to develop faster.


Keywords: Economic development, economic growth, industrialisation, urbanisation

JEL classification: O14, O18, O43, O47

Countries covered: SEE

Research Areas: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy