The development of a single economic market and rapid technological advances in the European Union (EU) have resulted in its Member States undergoing major structural changes over the past few decades. The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether or not there is convergence in the inventive capabilities across the EU. This is done by econometrically investigating, by means of parametric and non-parametric techniques, the development of patents granted per capita in 13 Member States per capita during the period 1990–2011. The findings of several β-convergence and σ-convergence tests show convergence in inventive capabilities. Moreover, a similar result is obtained when analysing the distributional dynamics of the invention capabilities. The speed of convergence is however slow. This suggests that policy efforts implemented by the EU to reduce technological gaps among its Member States have been relatively insufficient, and may imply negative long-term consequences for EU cohesion.
Grafström, J. (2017). Convergence of Incentive Capabilities within the European Union. Ratio Working Paper No. 301. Stockholm: Ratio.