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Article

Economic Convergence In Ageing Europe

Kashnitsky I. S., de Beer J., van Wissen L.

European regions experience accelerating ageing, but the process has substantial regional variation. This paper examines the effect of this variation on regional economic cohesion in Europe. We measure the effect of convergence or divergence in the share of the working age population on convergence or divergence in economies of NUTS 2 regions. The effect of convergence or divergence in ageing on economic convergence or divergence is quite substantial and, in some cases, is bigger than the effect of changes in productivity and labour force participation. Convergence of ageing leads to economic convergence only when the share of the working age population in rich regions exceeds that in poor regions and the former regions experience a substantial decline in the share of the working age population, or the latter regions experience an increase. During 2003–12, an inverse relationship between convergence in ageing and economic convergence was the rule rather than the exception.