Keywords: Productivity; Structural Change; Regional Convergence, Central Eastern European Countries; Cluster Analysis; Economic Growth; Crisis.
This study aims at identifying the socio-economic characteristics and structural change of regions in the new Member States of the European Union. The convergence and growth are central aspects of this investigation. The analysis focuses on the following points: a) highlighting the extent and causes of regional growth differences; b) identifying the relationships between economic growth and sectorbased structure; c) measuring the impact of the crisis. We test the contribution of both productivity and employment to growth and then proceed to the definition of a cluster analysis. This methodology allows to reclassify regions into homogeneous groups on the basis of the characteristics of their economic structure and to identify specific weaknesses in terms of regional development. Finally, the study of performances over the crisis times aims at highlighting the different reaction mode of production systems and the extent of the change in growth paths.