Is Poland in a middle income trap? A theoretical and empirical analysis

Janusz Heller, Rafał Warżała



Motivation: There are many victims of middle economic income trap in the world. This term commonly refers to countries that have experienced rapid growth, which enabled them to reach the status of a middle-income country, but finally have not been able to catch up the developed countries and achieve high-income status. Following this raises the question about Poland’s economy position in the context of middle income trap.

Aim: The aim of article is to present the position of polish economy in the context of ‘middle income trap theory’.

Results: Poland is a middle-income country, and some classifications say it is even a high-income country. The analysis of statistical indicators shows that in Poland there is a problem with the quality of labor, education and competencies, often because of the outflow of talented human capital. Moreover, as is known from the data prepared for the Strategy Europe 2020, Poland has the highest percentage of fixed term contracts in Europe and high poverty at work. Also the low share of the R&D expenditure in the GDP goes together with low sub-indexes of the Global Competitiveness Index and the Index of Economic Freedom. As to the export structure, there was considerable increase in middle and upper technology goods share over the last 20 years.


economic growth; middle income trap

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