National and Regional Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Edited by John Adams and Francesco Pigliaru
Chapter 14: Regional integration and public investment in Spain
Page 349 14. Regional integration and public investment in Spain Teresa GarciaMilà and Ramon Marimon 14.1 INTRODUCTION During the last thirty years there has been an intense process of convergence of the distribution of average income per capita among the Spanish regions (see Marimon, 1992; Dolado et al., 1994; Mas et al., 1994; Raymond, 1994; SalaiMartin, 1993). This is a general phenomenon for countries and regions that are sufficiently developed, and one which has been analysed by Barro and SalaiMartin (1991) and (1992). Both within the countries of the European Community and among the Spanish regions, there was an intense process of convergence from the 1950s until the mid1970s. However, since the mid1970s–after the oil crisis–growth in Europe has slowed down (see Marimon and Zilibotti, 1998). This decrease in the rate of growth is accompanied by the reduction of migration in Europe and a slowdown in the process of convergence among countries and regions.1 Ironically, this slowdown in convergence has coincided with the development of institutions that should promote cohesion among countries (development of the EEC) and among regions (the Autonomous Communities in Spain). Furthermore, in recent years, these institutions have pursued redistributive policies of regional transfers and public investments, and have focused on achieving a lasting reduction of the inequalities between the regions (good examples of this would be the FEDER programme of the EEC, and the public investment policies of both the Spanish central government and the Autonomous Communities)...
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