Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories
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Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories

Revised and Extended Second Edition

Edited by Roberta Capello and Peter Nijkamp

Regional economics – an established discipline for several decades – has undergone a period of rapid change in the last ten years resulting in the emergence of several new perspectives. At the same time the methodology of regional economics has also experienced some surprising developments. This fully revised and updated Handbook brings together contributions looking at new pathways in regional economics, written by many well-known international scholars. The aim is to present the most cutting-edge theories explaining regional growth and local development. The authors highlight the recent advances in theories, the normative potentialities of these theories and the cross-fertilization of ideas between regional and mainstream economists. It will be an essential source of reference and information for both scholars and students in the field.
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Chapter 30: Economic decline and public intervention: do Special Economic Zones matter?

Peter Friedrich and Chang Woon Nam


Following a brief assessment of the ways and extents to which existing economic theories explain the decline of a nation, a region and a city, this chapter highlights the urgent need for more intensive research related to the regional and urban decline process. Backed by the theory of development stages and taking into consideration the economic and structural situation as well as infrastructure endowment, the establishment of a free economic area (FEA) equipped with an appropriate economic policy-mix appears to be one of the effective intervention measures to overcome regional economic decline and to create the nationwide growth externalities. Yet the North Korean experience demonstrates that its success can also strongly depend on some additional factors, such as institutional framework, political control, freedom of decision-making and negotiation, geographic location and competitive environment of FEA.

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