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OECD Regional Outlook 2011

Building Resilient Regions for Stronger Economies

image of OECD Regional Outlook 2011

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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Why and When Development Policy Should Be Place-Based

This chapter argues that “spatially blind” policies are rarely spatially neutral, because they typically end up as capital-city promotion policies. Ostensibly, this reflects the economics of agglomeration, but to a great extent it is a product of the national rent-capturing influence of capital-city elites in all areas of public life. Since the evidence suggests that many core urban centres will grow without the need for significant policy interventions, the chapter raises the question as to whether development objectives should be shifted from promoting efficiency in the core to enhancing the potential for growth and development in every territory. The chapter argues that place-based approaches offer a greater possibility of harnessing untapped potential in all regions in a co-ordinated and systematic way.

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