Ulrike Schneider, Martin Wagner
November 30, 2019
This paper uses the adaptive Lasso estimator to determine variables important for economic growth. The adaptive Lasso estimator is a computationally very efficient procedure that simultaneously performs model selection and parameter estimation. The computational cost of this method is negligibly small compared with standard approaches in the growth regressions literature. We apply this method for a regional dataset for the European Union covering the 255 NUTS2 regions in the 27 member states over the period 1995-2005. The results suggest that initial GDP per capita (with an implied convergence speed of about 1.5% per annum), human capital ( proxied by the shares of highly and medium educated in the working age population), structural labor market characteristics (the initial unemployment rate and the initial activity rate of the low educated) as well as being a capital region are important for economic growth.