Perspectives, Measurement and Empirical Investigation
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Robert Stimson, Roger R. Stough and Peter Nijkamp
Chapter 11: Macroeconomic and Territorial Policies for Regional Competitiveness: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the EU
Roberto Camagni and Roberta Capello INTRODUCTION In this chapter we examine the new required policy targets and styles for assuring regional performance and competitiveness for the European Union (EU) and provide an empirical analysis of territorial policies for regional competitiveness, with a focus on investigating territorial capital and regional growth. We first address the theoretical basis of the importance of regional policies. The strongest argument in favour of regional policies lies in the long-term persistence and even widening of inter-regional disparities. The starting point in that theoretical reasoning is that regional policies are fundamental for the competitiveness of regional economies. Unlike countries, regions compete on the basis of an ‘absolute’ advantage principle, and, whenever non-competitive, regions cannot rely on any automatic mechanism in order to maintain some export specialization. Thus, in the case of the EU, the fate of regions is mass unemployment and, in the case of insufficient public income transfers, emigration and possibly desertification. In this chapter we stress the idea that the factors determining regional performance do not lie just in each region’s internal development capability. In fact, among the causes of regional success and failure, one can find, on the one hand, some pervasive characteristics of the national economy and, on the other hand, its general performance. This aspect, linked to the fact that national policies are not space-invariant within each country, brings us to the conclusion that national policies also can explain regional performance. That includes interest rate policies, monetary and fiscal policies driving movements...
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