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  University of Tartu Faculty of Economics and BusinessAdministration AN ANALYSIS OF THEECONOMIC CONVERGENCEPROCESS IN THETRANSITION COUNTRIES Urmas Varblane and Priit Vahter Tartu 2005  This research has been partially financed by the target financingof the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research projectTMJRI0107 and Estonian Science Foundation grant 5840.ISSN 1406–5967ISBN 9949–11–096–3Tartu University Press www.tyk.ee Order No. 241  AN ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMICCONVERGENCE PROCESS IN THETRANSITION COUNTRIES Urmas Varblane 1 , Priit Vahter 2 Abstract The paper is analysing the process of economic convergence of transition countries during the period 1995–2004. Within theanalysed period unconditional  β  -convergence across the tran-sition economies existed. We could also discover the reductionof dispersion of income levels between accession countries(sigma-convergence). Comparative analyses of the new EUmember states (NMS) economic convergence with the previousentrants into EU (Ireland, Greece, Spain, and Portugal) revealedthat NMS have been much more successful in their convergence process before joining EU.Analyses of the macroeconomic, human capital, infrastructureindicators of the current accession countries compared with the previous cohesion countries indicated that the new membershave been much better prepared to the enlargement. This allowsdrawing conclusion that the NMS face an opportunity to obtain   1  Professor of International Business, Head of the Institute of Mana-gement and Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business Admi-nistration, University of Tartu; Mail address: 4-A213 Narva Rd.,51009 Tartu, Estonia; Tel: (+372) 737 6361, Fax: (+372 737 6312);Email: Urmas.Varblane@mtk.ut.ee 2  PhD student, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration,University of Tartu; Mail address: 4-A214 Narva Rd., 51009Tartu, Estonia; Tel: (+372) 737 6361, Fax: (+372 737 6312); Email:Priit.Vahter@mtk.ut.ee   An analysis of the convergence process… 4 much more rapid convergence process than expected by previous analyses, which have seriously undervalued the posi-tive role of the pre-accession harmonisation process of NMSwith the implementation of the major economic reforms inorder to guarantee macroeconomic stability.
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