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Economic Growth and Change

Economic Growth and Change

National and Regional Patterns of Convergence and Divergence

Edited by John Adams and Francesco Pigliaru

The pursuit of economic growth is at the top of every nation’s policy agenda at the end of the 20th century. This authoritative and comprehensive book goes beyond the narrowly-based convergence model of economic growth by considering global, national and regional patterns of growth from a comparative perspective.

Chapter 14: Regional integration and public investment in Spain

Teresa Garcia-Milà and Ramon Marimon

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, regional economics

Extract

Page 349  14. Regional integration and public investment in Spain  Teresa Garcia­Milà and Ramon Marimon  14.1 INTRODUCTION  During the last thirty years there has been an intense process of convergence of the distribution of average income per capita among the Spanish regions (see Marimon,  1992; Dolado et al., 1994; Mas et al., 1994; Raymond, 1994; Sala­i­Martin, 1993). This is a general phenomenon for countries and regions that are sufficiently  developed, and one which has been analysed by Barro and Sala­i­Martin (1991) and (1992). Both within the countries of the European Community and among the  Spanish regions, there was an intense process of convergence from the 1950s until the mid­1970s. However, since the mid­1970s–after the oil crisis–growth in Europe  has slowed down (see Marimon and Zilibotti, 1998). This decrease in the rate of growth is accompanied by the reduction of migration in Europe and a slowdown in the  process of convergence among countries and regions.1  Ironically, this slowdown in convergence has coincided with the development of institutions that should promote cohesion among countries (development of the EEC)  and among regions (the Autonomous Communities in Spain). Furthermore, in recent years, these institutions have pursued redistributive policies of regional transfers  and public investments, and have focused on achieving a lasting reduction of the inequalities between the regions (good examples of this would be the FEDER  programme of the EEC, and the public investment policies of both the Spanish central government and the Autonomous Communities)...

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