Economic Strategies for Mature Industrial Economies

Economic Strategies for Mature Industrial Economies

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl

The global economy has transformed during the last few decades. Though the changes have benefited some, many mature industrial economies have not been treated well by the changes they have seen and have been forced to adapt to dramatically altered circumstances. In this collection of original papers, economists and geographers from Asia, North America and Europe examine the policy initiatives that have succeeded in their countries.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Peter Karl Kresl

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, cities, regional economics, urban economics


Peter Karl Kresl Many mature industrial economies (MEIs) have not been treated well by the changes that have transformed the global economy during the past 30 years. Changes in technology have rendered many traditional locations non-competitive, the rise of emerging markets has posed a direct challenge to the vitality of these MEIs, and both capital and labor have moved to more congenial places of employment.1 Since many states or provinces are composed of urban centers, towns of a variety of sizes, and agricultural spaces, some of which have survived these changes without much negative impact, we will focus our attention on the cities and towns that have been the heart of the industrial sector over the past century or two. While it is true that researchers have found that some MEIs retain an endowment of assets that gives them advantages in the adoption of new technology-intensive production,2 the experience of many others, if not most, has been one of a loss of competitiveness of their major economic entities, a decline in ‘good jobs’ employment, the migration of young, skilled and ambitious workers to more dynamic cities or even countries, declining tax revenues to support infrastructure maintenance and expansion as well as social services, and marginalization. The result is that these cities are characterized by: aging populations, deteriorating physical structures – be it residential, industrial or urban amenity – a loss of collective spirit and hope, and secular decline. The contributors to this book are of the opinion that it is possible...