Perspectives, Measurement and Empirical Investigation
- New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Robert Stimson, Roger R. Stough and Peter Nijkamp
15. Regional growth and development theories revisited Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp TRENDS IN REGIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH THEORY Regional development covers a wide range of economic policy issues related to the need to exploit appropriate productive resources that may contribute, or form an impediment, to the welfare of a region, in either an absolute or a relative sense. Consequently, regional development is associated with both efficiency objectives, such as the optimal use of scarce factor inputs, and equity objectives (such as social cohesion and distribution of wealth), issues in modern jargon sometimes referred to as ‘territorial cohesion’. Clearly such elements are also prominent in conventional macroeconomic growth analysis (e.g., at a national scale), but a special reason for giving explicit attention to regional economic growth lies in the relatively small and open character of a region (or a system of regions). Since a region forms an intermediate or hybrid spatial unit between a nation and its citizens, regional economic growth theory uses elements from both macroeconomic growth policy and individual welfare theory. Against this background it comes as no surprise that in recent years endogenous growth theory has gained much popularity in regional economics; it is essentially a blend of microeconomics and macroeconomic growth theory, in which smart use of the indigenous resources of a region plays a critical role. It covers, inter alia, the linkages between income, employment, investments, infrastructure and suprastructure. In particular, much emphasis is placed on the study of spatial socio-economic disparities or convergence (including labour...
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