OECD Regional Outlook 2011

Building Resilient Regions for Stronger Economies

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The OECD Regional Outlook 2011 provides an overview of the main developments in performance among OECD regions and the challenges for regional policy after the crisis. The first two chapters present fresh analysis of regional growth and labour-market trends, exploring their implications for policy. This is followed by three chapters offering focused analyses of key policy issues. The first, and most immediate, concerns the state of sub-national government finances in the wake of the crisis and its implications for managing public investment, in particular, during a period of austerity. The next two chapters are concerned with the potential contribution of regions and regional policies to addressing the longer-term challenges of innovation and green growth. Part 3 of the Outlook presents a "policy forum", a wide-ranging debate on the role of regional policy today involving experts and officials from within and outside the OECD. Finally, the Outlook includes individual country pages providing detailed quantitative and qualitative information on regional performance, institutions and policy settings in OECD members.

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Executive Summary

In the wake of the global economic crisis, policy makers are keenly aware of the need for innovative policy and governance “toolkits” to generate new sources of growth, while enhancing social inclusion and environmental sustainability, as expressed in the OECD’s stronger, cleaner and fairer agenda or the EU 2020 goals of a smart, inclusive and sustainable economy. Traditionally, policy debates have tended to focus on trade-offs between these three objectives, often overlooking potential synergies and interdependencies between them. Today, there is a growing awareness of the need to pursue these three objectives in a more balanced and complementary way.

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