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Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp
17 Measuring the regional divide Roberto Ezcurra and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose 17.1 Introduction Measuring the regional divide across countries around the world has become more and more common. The proliferation of subnational data sets with economic information, ﬁrst in the developed world and later in parts of the developing world, has meant that researchers now have at their disposal a greater array of statistical information to try to understand the dimension and evolution of regional disparities across the world. The increased eﬀort devoted to generating these data sets is also testimony of the growing importance attached by decision-makers to the uneven distribution of wealth within their national boundaries. Partially as a consequence of this, the number of studies measuring the dimension and evolution of the regional divide throughout the world has increased substantially since the mid-1980s and researchers have progressively improved the techniques aimed at measuring the regional divide. But despite the improvement in information, approaches and methods, it is not entirely clear that our understanding of the dimension of regional disparities and how they evolved is now complete. The numbers of studies that use the same information for similar sets of regions, but that put forward diﬀerent interpretations of the size, distribution and development of regional disparities, is simply astounding. The case of the European Union (EU) is a clear example. Because of the salience of regional development policies, the EU has become one of the most analysed spaces for regional disparities. As a general rule,...
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