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Regional Development Policies in OECD Countries

image of Regional Development Policies in OECD Countries

Policy makers need both a handy reference guide to the regional policies of their own and other countries and a broader analysis of trends in regional policies, based on sound, comparable information. Regional Policies in OECD Countries responds to this need. It is the first systematic, comparative analysis of OECD countries’ regional policies.  

The report addresses fundamental regional policy concerns, such as: problem recognition; the objectives of regional policy; the legal/institutional framework; the urban/rural framework; budget structures; and the governance mechanisms linking national and sub-national governments as well as sectors.  

It begins with an overview of the regional policy today. This is followed by country profiles covering the 31 OECD members. The profiles share a common conceptual framework, allowing countries to see how their experiences measure up. The report also contains several annexes, which cover some of the countries that are candidates for accession to the OECD or with which the OECD has enhanced engagement. The annexes also cover the key topics of cross-border cooperation and trends in urban-rural linkages, especially efforts to control urban sprawl.  

The report will help countries to better understand regional policies and to formulate and diffuse horizontal policy recommendations. The analysis suggests an important role for regional policies in shaping sustainable endogenous development, in particular well-developed governance mechanisms to better respond to the different opportunities and demands of regions and to improve policy efficiency.  

This report is a unique source of regional policy information and of special interest to policy makers, researchers, and others engaging with regional development.

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Foreword/Acknowledgements

Across the OECD, the globalisation of trade and economic activity increasingly tests the ability of regional economies to adapt and exploit or maintain their competitive edge. On the one hand, there is a tendency for performance gaps to widen between and within regions, and the cost of maintaining cohesion is increasing. On the other hand, rapid technological change, the extension of markets and the greater use of knowledge offer new opportunities for local and regional development. This requires further investment in the business environment, reorganisation of labour and production, and upgrading skills and environmental improvements. All of these trends are leading public authorities to reconsider their strategies. The role of policies aimed at improving the competitiveness of regions by promoting the valorisation and use of endogenous resources has been strengthened.

English

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