Promoting Growth in All Regions

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This publication highlights the importance of promoting growth in all types of OECD regions, particularly in underdeveloped ones. Helping underdeveloped regions to catch up will have a positive impact on a country’s national growth; in some cases more so than in already well-developed regions. Furthermore such growth helps to build  a fairer society, in which no territories and their people are left behind. An important question is whether this potential to catch up is possible?  The evidence suggests that this IS the case.  Examinations of patterns of growth reveal that underdeveloped rural and intermediate regions tend to grow faster. Their catching-up potentially largely depends on human capital development, infrastructure and innovation-related activities but also on institutional factors and policies. This publication is based on anlaysis among all OECD regions and 23 case study regions from ten OECD countries over the period 1995-2007.



Growth factors and bottlenecks

Lessons from 23 regional case studies

To increase our understanding of factors for growth and the bottlenecks hindering regional growth, this chapter supplements the theory of Chapters 1 and 2 with information from 23 OECD case studies. The case study regions are divided into two groups: i) dynamic regions which over the last 12 years have caught up with the national average GDP per capita; and ii) less dynamic regions which have not yet caught up with the national average in GDP per capita. Each case study presents a snapshot of the region, an economic assessment, the key elements responsible for growth and the key bottlenecks. At the end of the chapter the main findings drawn from the 23 case studies are summarised. One of the key findings is the importance of an integrated policy approach to avoid the unintended consequences of isolated actions, which can trigger brain drain and other damaging phenomena. The research suggests some policy packages that should be implemented together, depending on the developmental stage of the region in question: i) regional growth policies, plus policies for building infrastructure and human capital; ii) strengthening infrastructure connectivity while creating a favourable business environment; and iii) strengthening institutions (e.g. good governance and leadership capacity) while promoting innovation.


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