The aim of this work is the identification and the description of groups of regions belonging to
eight European countries in order to evaluate the role of productive specialization in determining
regional income growth. The novelty of the study is the application of a new methodology, the
Classification and Regression Tree Analysis. The results show that initial specialization in manufacturing
(machinery and metal products) and services (credit and transport) is crucial for local
growth and suggest the existence of multiple clubs of regions, each characterized by a specific specialization
model and growth trend.