Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories
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Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories

Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

Regional economics – an established discipline for several decades – has gone through a rapid pace of change in the past decade and several new perspectives have emerged. At the same time the methodology has shown surprising development. This volume brings together contributions looking at new pathways in regional economics, written by many well-known international scholars. The most advanced theories, measurement methods and policy issues in regional growth are given in-depth treatment.
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Chapter 9: Infrastructure and Regional Development

Johannes Bröcker and Piet Rietveld


Johannes Bröcker and Piet Rietveld 9.1 Introduction Regional development is the result of mutually related decisions made by private and public actors. In the present chapter we will focus on one particular type of decision: the provision of infrastructure, mainly by the public sector, but also possibilities for private supply will be explored. The impacts will be measured in particular in terms of productivity and welfare. The main type of infrastructure to be studied here is transport infrastructure, but many of the results will also apply to other infrastructure types. Regional impacts of infrastructure supply are of interest for two reasons. First, infrastructure investment plans are often motivated by regional policy goals. They are intended to benefit lagging regions. Hence, assigning benefits to regions is vital in this context. Second, assessing benefits by regions is needed for assigning the planning and decision responsibility as well as the financial burden in a proper way. Local jurisdictions should decide upon projects not having significant spillovers to other jurisdictions, and they should fully pay for them. In case of spillovers, decentralized solutions are still possible through negotiations of jurisdictions, as advocated by Coase. In this case local decisionmakers should at least have a rough idea about who gains what, in order to attain an agreement about projects that generate enough benefit to make the citizens of all jurisdictions involved better off. Transaction costs make a decentralized agreement impracticable, however, if too many jurisdictions are involved. Either decision-making...

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