Analysis of the economic performance and competitiveness of the European Union countries

  • Štefan Bojnec University of Primorska, Faculty of Management
  • Milja Marčeta Ministry of Education, Masarykova 16, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Keywords: trade openness, export market shares, level economic development, global competitiveness, European Union


The main purpose of this study is to identify the dynamics of economic performance and competitiveness in the European Union (EU-28) countries and their convergences over the two periods, 2008-2015 and 2015-2019. The comparative analysis is used to answer the research question with applied the hierarchical cluster analysis, Ward's method, and t-test to test the set hypothesis. Eurostat and World Economic Forum data were used for the period 2008-2019.
The empirical results confirmed our hypothesis that there are convergences in the key indicators of trade openness, exports as % of gross domestic product (GDP), market shares as % in world trade, GDP per capita, and global competitiveness index. The study contributes to the empirical analysis on the existence of convergences in a group of indicators of economic performance, trade openness, and global competitiveness of the EU-28 countries. The common clusters were formed, and the set hypothesis was tested regarding the convergences of the EU-28 countries by means of a hierarchical cluster analysis. Trade openness and export market shares in world trade, and competitiveness of EU-28 countries are important for trade policies improving global competitiveness and improving convergences in the heterogeneity among the EU countries.


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