We analyze the relationship between the convergence process in EU-15 per capita GDPs and the business cycle throughout the period 1980 to 2004. We proceedin three stages. In the first, unobserved component models with and without Markov regime changes are employed in order to date business cycle phases. In the second stage, close synchronicity allows the multivariate modelling of a common cyclicalfactor and idiosyncratic factors. In the third stage, differences in growth rates with respect to average EU-12 and EU-15 references are considered.
Such differences, which should show a convergence process, can be explained by the cyclical components previously estimated. It is shown that cyclical coherence has not operated as a causal factor for convergence. On the contrary, evidence has been found that some per capita GDPs do not exhibitâ convergence in spite of positive trend growth, as well as some breaks in the model parameters. As a result, no net reduction has been achieved in the dispersion of EU-15 per capita GDPs.