Place-based Development in International Economic Networks
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Regions differ from each other economically. They compete in different products and geographical spaces, they exhibit different strengths and weaknesses, and they provide different possibilities for growth and development. What fosters growth in one region, hampers it in another. Regional economic development policy should therefore be based on a ‘one-size-fits-one’ approach and is not particularly helped by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy propagated by economists in favour of a place-neutral strategy. Such place-based policies should be tailored to the specific regional context for firms and people to accomplish economic growth and higher welfare. This book confirms that the often presumed contradiction of place-based and place-neutral development strategies (see, for example, Barca et al., 2012) should be nuanced in a European context: place-based smart specialization and regional development can reinforce both place-neutral as well as place-specific economic processes. The simultaneous importance of location and network relations in regional economic development is emphasized by the wealth of heterogeneity in the specific trade relations of every region, the resulting region-specific geographical markets on which firms from different regions compete, and the various dynamic competitive relations that are analysed in this book.