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2.4.2 First Evidence from EEUE 2004

Academic Research paper and Study of the Economy of Romania and Romanian Business

Now, four years after the first wave of Eastern European integration it could be supposed that the first ex post conclusions have been drawn. But both data and examinations of the existing data are still rare. This is probably not due to a lack of interest but to the short period, which barely allows any in depth examination of the data, except some descriptive analysis. Most of the few studies which assess the actual impact of Eastern EU Enlargement (EEUE) are comprised and discussed in EC (2006 b). Virtually all of them assume rational expectations in order to extend their database in the pre-accession era and to justify the results as driven by integration. This proceeding seems plausible as enlargement was on the one hand widely known and credible (cf. e.g. Kohler 2004: 26). On the other hand, integration actually started in the mid-nineties when the Association Agreements with the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) were signed and many barriers to trade were removed.

As the evidence on general trade effects of European integration and the SEM were already discussed in chapter 2.3.2, this chapter focuses on convergence (chapter and factor markets (chapter for labor and chapter for capital) of the Central and Eastern European Countries, which joined the EU in 2004.