The European Union (EU) is an integration of countries which have a high income and welfare and are economically at a certain level. Coordination of economic policies of the member countries is required in order to achieve the objectives of the EU, such as price stability, balance of payments, improvement of living conditions, high employment, balanced public expenditures, stable and balanced growth. In this study, Turkey's convergence condition to current 28 EU countries is analyzed according to the economic indicators stated in the Maastricht Criteria (Inflation, Interest, Budget Deficit / GDP, Public Debt / GDP) over the period from 2008 to 2017. Firstly, EU countries and Turkey are compared with respect to the macroeconomic indicators in Maastricht Criteria and countries are grouped based on their similarity using cluster analysis. The study uses panel data not to ignore the annual changes when evaluating Turkey’s economic status during the EU accession process. Therefore, the convergence of countries in homogeneous groups are examined by panel data unit root analysis. As a result of clustering analysis performed with the data of 2008-2017, three clusters are obtained. Turkey is located in the same group with Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Luxembourg and Estonia. Convergence analysis showed that there was an overall convergence in each group based on the examined variables.
convergence, cluster analysis, European Union, Maastricht Criteria, panel data
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