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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The central concern of this OECD Regional Outlook is to understand how regional policies can contribute to aggregate performance, in terms not only of economic growth, but of a broader development agenda as well, integrating equity and environmental objectives. Building stronger, fairer and cleaner OECD regions is a particularly salient issue in the wake of the recent crisis, as OECD policy makers seek to sustain a still uncertain recovery against a backdrop of fiscal consolidation and, in many economies, limited room for manoeuvre in monetary policy. It also highlights the dangers of overlooking the regional dimension, particularly in the field of public finance. Sub-national governments’ success in managing public investment is likely to be a key factor in determining the strength of the recovery in many places. At the same time, the impact of the crisis on sub-national public budgets represents an often under-appreciated challenge to fiscal health and economic performance in some countries.

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