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Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories

Revised and Extended Second Edition

Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

Regional economics – an established discipline for several decades – has undergone a period of rapid change in the last ten years resulting in the emergence of several new perspectives. At the same time the methodology of regional economics has also experienced some surprising developments. This fully revised and updated Handbook brings together contributions looking at new pathways in regional economics, written by many well-known international scholars. The aim is to present the most cutting-edge theories explaining regional growth and local development. The authors highlight the recent advances in theories, the normative potentialities of these theories and the cross-fertilization of ideas between regional and mainstream economists. It will be an essential source of reference and information for both scholars and students in the field.
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Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

The space-economy has never been static, but has always shown a state of flux. Regions are normally in transition; they are work in progress. As a consequence, we observe a complex evolution of regional systems that varies between growth and decline. Static location and allocation theories may be helpful in understanding underlying structures in regional economies, but do not offer a full-scale picture of the development of multi-actor processes and of the perpetual or temporal impediments for regional growth and prosperity. The conceptualization and solid explanation of regional growth, and differences therein, is still largely a mystery for the research community in many countries. There is no uniform panacea for enhancing or accelerating the development trajectory of regions in a national or supranational economy. Therefore, regional policy is still in many cases a black box; the outcomes of intensified regional growth strategies are often largely unpredictable. Best guesses are more common than testable and operational estimates of policy impacts. Against the above-mentioned backgrounds, the editors of the Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories published a decade ago a comprehensive volume with a rich collection of advanced contributions on the above challenges in regional economics and regional science. In the ten years since then the world, both the empirical regional world and the theoretical and empirical reflection on growth and development issues, has not come to a standstill. We have become sadder and wiser after economic crises, regional fragmentation trends, the introduction of radical technological innovation, and the awareness of failures of regional policy. However, we have also enriched our knowledge horizon, with new insights and new methods and theories of regional analysis. The time has now come to take a refreshing and new look at the achievements of regional growth and development theories.