Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp
Manfred M. Fischer and Peter Nijkamp 10.1 Introduction It is widely recognised that the region has become a fundamental basis of economic and social life. The national level of observation, though still important, is no longer the uniquely privileged point of entry to our understanding of economic development, and all the more so given the fact that the barriers between national economies are – in certain respects – breaking down, at least in Europe (Scott and Storper, 2003). Regional economics has in the past decades made a successful attempt to uncover the complexities of the modern space-economy. It has led to important integrations of scientiﬁc perspectives, such as an integration of agglomeration theory and location theory, trade theory and welfare theory, or growth theory and entrepreneurship (including industrial organisation). The blend of rigorous economic analysis and geographical thinking has furthermore induced a bridge between two traditionally disjoint disciplines (namely, geography and economics), while this synergy has laid the foundations for innovative scientiﬁc cross-fertilisation of both a theoretical and applied nature in the important domain of regional development. The region has become a natural fruitful anchor point for an integrated perspective on the dynamics in the space-economy, such as regional development in the context of changing labour conditions, or spatial innovation in the context of metropolitan incubator conditions (see Florida, 2002). Regions face two imperatives in a market-driven world. First, they have to be concerned with socio-economic welfare, notably employment. Job creation, an important indicator of economic growth, is central to...
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