Robert J. Stimson
This chapter explores better ways to measure regional economic performance identifying those factors which might explain spatial differentiation in regional performance across Australia. A key strand is an appreciation of the importance of context with a focus on the performance, dynamics and measurement of very diverse city-regions. The context is the significant period of economic reforms initiated by the Hawke–Keating Labor governments – which held office for 13 years from the mid-1980s – which, along with the forces of globalisation, substantially restructured the national economy with marked regional winners and losers. Following a short recession in the 1990s, the Australia experienced a long period of sustained economic growth, but there were marked differentials in regional outcomes which are explored in this chapter. The chapter also highlights the methodological developments used in the research to measure and explain differences in regional economic performance that have evolved in Australia over the last three or so decades.