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Dematerializing Local Economies: A Case for ad hoc Governance


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  • Don J. Webber
  • Tony Gore


Part of the decentring process that has evolved with the relative empowerment of sub-national actors has permitted the growth of policy networks. This paper explores which type of governance structure is required to affect unemployment and growth rates when the economy comprises workers in dematerialized firms. Governance is found to influence the regional success of a 'weightless economy', but not in a manner that necessarily requires precise strata. Instead, as dematerialized firms are composed of potentially highly mobile workers, policies should be geared towards attracting (and keeping) mobile workers (not companies) and hence governance needs to be flexible and ad hoc to meet the locational tastes of such workers. Benefits will then spill over into the locale through increased aggregate demand for tangible goods, thereby reducing local unemployment and stimulating local growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor and Francis Journals in its journal Local Economy.

Volume (Year): 17 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 96-110

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Handle: RePEc:taf:loceco:v:17:y:2002:i:2:p:96-110

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  1. Franz Todtling, 1998. "Innovation systems in regions of Europe: A comparative perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa98p421, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  3. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  4. Robert Bennett, 1997. "Administrative Systems and Economic Spaces," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 323-336.
  5. David Autor & Frank Levy & Richard Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  6. Gordon H. Hanson, 1998. "North American Economic Integration and Industry Location," NBER Working Papers 6587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Charlie Jeffery, 2000. "Sub-National Mobilization and European Integration: Does it Make any Difference?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 1-23, 03.
  8. Peter Newman & Gilles Verpraet, 1999. "The impacts of partnership on urban governance: Conclusions from recent European research," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 487-491.
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