This book focuses on the economic factors which have impacted on the low-wage economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), over the past twenty years. In this period CEE economies were mostly driven  by low-wage  based foreign direct investment (FDI).  Earlier publications made the case that the potential of this growth engine has been exhausted and that there is room for dynamic wage increases given the accumulated productivity reserve due to past wage moderation.

Searching for ways of how to break out of the low-wage trap, this publication, considers the policies which are needed to support a sustainable convergence process with their western European counterparts.

Chapters in this book examine different aspects of the CEE growth model, taking into consideration the changing role of FDI, the consequences of efforts to upgrade production capacity in both the foreign investment and domestic sectors.

Authors also explore the role of innovation, R&D and the use of EU Cohesion Funds as instruments to boost growth in the region. The importance of developing human resources and preparing CEE economies for the digital age, are key features of this publication.

Buy printed version
€ 25.00

Table of contents

Full text

Béla Galgóczi and Jan Drahokoupil: Introduction

Gábor Hunya: Chapter 1 - Conditions for an investment revival in Central and Eastern Europe

Magdolna Sass: Chapter 2 - Is a live dog better than a dead lion? Seeking alternative growth engines in the Visegrad countries

Marzenna Anna Weresa: Chapter 3 - Innovation, human capital and competitiveness in Central and Eastern Europe with regard to the challenges of a digital economy

Mark Knell: Chapter 4 - R&D internationalisation and local innovation in the Visegrad Group after the FDI peak

Andrea Szalavetz: Chapter 5 - Industry 4.0 in ‘factory economies

Martin Ferry: Chapter 6 - The role of EU funds in enhancing the development potential of CEE economies

Balázs Szent-Iványi: Chapter 7 - Investment promotion in the Visegrad four countries: post-FDI challenges

Zhelyu Vladimirov: Chapter 8 - The EU industrial policy and SME development in Central and Eastern Europe

Related content

European multinational companies and trade unions in eastern and east-central Europe

Are foreign multinational companies more or less likely than domestically-owned firms to recognise trade unions and engage seriously in... Find out more

Why are wages still lower in eastern and central Europe?

This new working paper explores why there is a persistent wage gap between western Europe and the new EU Member States of eastern and... Find out more

Wage developments in Eastern Europe

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe SEER, Volume 20 (2017), Issue 2, ISSN: 1435-2869, ISSN online: 1435-2869, https... Find out more

Magdalena Bernaciak, Marta Kahancová

Innovative union practices in Central-Eastern Europe

This book provides a detailed account of the innovative practices pursued by trade unions in Central and Eastern Europe since 2008. The book... Find out more

Why central and eastern Europe needs a pay rise

This working paper looks at wage developments in central and eastern Europe (CEE) over the past twenty years and shows that wages are not... Find out more

What role can minimum wages play in overcoming the low-wage model in central and eastern Europe?

This working paper gives an overview of minimum wage policies in Central and Eastern Europe. It shows that minimum wages are an effective... Find out more

Unit labour costs: no argument for low wages in eastern and central Europe

This working paper discusses the use of unit labour costs (ULC) by the European Commission as a measure of competitiveness of exports... Find out more

Violaine Delteil, Vassil Nikolaev Kirov

Labour and social transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. Europeanization and beyond

Over a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall and 10 years after their accession to the European Union (EU), Central and... Find out more

Béla Greskovits, Marta Kahancová

Ten years of enlargement and the forces of labour in Central and Eastern Europe

Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research... Find out more

Varieties of Capitalism in central and eastern Europe

SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe SEER, Volume 13 (2010), Issue 4, ISSN: 1435-2869, ISSN online: 1435-2869, https... Find out more

Christina Klenner, Simone Leiber

Welfare states and gender inequality in Central and Eastern Europe

This book edited by Christina Klenner and Simone Leiber and first published in German, focuses on developments in the welfare states of the... Find out more

Transition Economies: Political Economy in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia

Transition Economies provides students with an up-to-date and highly comprehensive analysis of the economic transformation in former... Find out more

Central Eastern Europe five years after: from 'emerging Europe' to 'submerging' Europe?

In this, the fourth ETUI Policy Brief in 2009, the impact of the economic and financial crisis on Central and Eastern Europe is examined... Find out more

Globalization and the State in Central and Eastern Europe

This book examines the transformation of the state in Central and Eastern Europe since the end of communism and adoption of market oriented... Find out more

EU enlargement and social standards: exporting the European Social Model?

In this paper the extent to which the EU is actively disseminating a social model is considered, through the lens of EU enlargement and... Find out more