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.


Regional growth trends

Implications for national growth

This chapter categorises OECD regions in different ways to understand the rate at which they are growing and what factors are behind these growth trends. There is strong potential for growth in rural and intermediate regions, particularly in regions with levels of GDP per capita below the national average. Less developed regions contributed to almost half of the OECD’s aggregate growth (43%) between 1995 and 2007. Moreover, in ten OECD countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Norway, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States) these regions have contributed more to national growth than those countries’ advanced regions. These results reveal the importance of catching-up regions for aggregate performance and suggest that policies targeting these types of regions need not merely be social; rather they should be well designed economic policies in line with the new regional paradigm.


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