Pronounced disparities are observed at the regional level all over the world. Regional policies aim to deal with these persistent regional imbalances, targeting local development with the varying instruments available. Other dimensions may guide policy design and implementation – sectoral and social, for instance – under a broader perspective of the development of the country, with secondary impacts on regional inequalities. This chapter provides an overview of the theoretical background underlying the definition of priorities and strategies of regional policies. It also describes the main regional policies adopted worldwide and introduces a tentative framework to classify them according to their main dimensions.
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