This paper examines the dynamic of income distribution in European regions and attempts to relate movements within this distribution to regional structural characteristics and to the impact of cohesion policy (CP). There is evidence that CP supports advanced economic development in lagging and peripheral regions, hence contributing to the ‘convergence objective’. The effectiveness of CP, however, depends on the manner in which funds are managed by single regions: the likelihood of progressing in the income distribution is associated, in fact, to the balance between investments in infrastructure and the productive environment, favouring the former. Evidence presented in this paper also relates regional economic performance to the educational level and innovation in regions, providing useful insights for the current debate about reshaping EU cohesion policy toward a more place-based approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-539
Number of pages18
JournalTijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Economics and Econometrics
  • European Union
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • cohesion policy
  • distribution dynamics
  • multinomial logistic regression
  • place-based territorial policies
  • regional development


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