The accumulation of knowledge, human capital and agglomeration are indicated as prominent sources of externalities. Therefore, this study examines their contributions to the economic growth of regions in Europe, while accounting for non-linear and threshold effects as well as spatial dependence. The results highlight differentiated growth patterns for less and more developed regions with the effect of knowledge being considerable only in the latter group. The findings suggest that there is the potential for innovation and agglomeration in many less developed regions located in both the new member states (NMS) and the old member states (OMS). However, to reach sustained growth, structural change is necessary in these regions. We conclude that the existing gaps in the economic structure are deemed responsible for the persistence of income disparities. This reinforces the call for specific policy actions in catching-up regions, thus strengthening the arguments in favour of a place-based approach to regional policy.
- Generalised additive models
- Place-based regional policies
- Regional growth