Rethinking Regional Development Policy-making

image of Rethinking Regional Development Policy-making

This report takes stock of discussions held between academics and country practitioners during a series of seminars organised in 2017 by the OECD and the European Commission that focused on opportunities to improve the design and delivery of regional development policies. What can governments do to enhance economic development in regions and cities ? What lessons can be drawn from theory and practice to ensure public spending and investments contribute to regional development as effectively as possible ? At a time of increasing pressure on public finances it is paramount to enhance the effectiveness of regional policy governance instruments to add value to public spending and investment.

Bringing together frontier economic theory and country practices regarding performance frameworks, financial instruments, policy conditionalities, contractual arrangements and behavioural insights in regional policy, this report identifies cross-cutting lessons to help policy-makers manage common trade-offs when designing public expenditure and investment programmes for the development of regions and cities.



Executive summary

To face complex challenges such as globalisation, climate change, or disruptive technologies, policy makers need to rethink the design of regional development policies. More efficient regional development policies require a management architecture that combines different results-oriented instruments which facilitate managing the different trade-offs faced by policy-makers: how to ensure that regional development policy instruments are sufficiently flexible while also ensuring policy stability and accountability? How to strike a balance between performance, compliance and administrative costs? To manage these trades-offs and to develop innovative policy approaches, it is necessary to combine recent developments in economic theory with practical country experiences.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error