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The Crisis and Regional Resilience in Europe: On the Importance of Urbanization and Specialization

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  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Charles van Marrewijk

Abstract

Using a rich data set on the EU regions, we analyze the relevance of two possible determinants of a region’s resilience to shocks, the degree of urbanization and specialization. We take the Great Recession, the economic and financial crisis that started in 2008, as our shock and then analyze how the NUTS II EU regions differ in their resilience to the crisis in terms of unemployment and real GDP per capita. In prior research it has been well established that (EU) regions differ in their resilience to shocks but it typically remains unclear as to why regions differ in this respect. For the 2008- 2012 period, we find that the degree and nature of regional urbanization and specialization are important drivers of the resilience of EU regions. More in particular, we find that that EU regions with a relatively large share of its population in commuting areas in combination with a specialization in medium high tech industries are relatively resilient, that is were less affected by the crisis, a result that suggests a relationship with international trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Charles van Marrewijk, 2014. "The Crisis and Regional Resilience in Europe: On the Importance of Urbanization and Specialization," CESifo Working Paper Series 4724, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4724
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp4724.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Courant Paul N. & Deardorff Alan V., 1993. "Amenities, Nontraded Goods, and the Trade of Lumpy Countries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 299-317, September.
    2. Stefan P. T. Groot & J. L. Möhlmann & J. H. Garretsen & Henri L. F. de Groot, 2011. "The crisis sensitivity of European countries and regions: stylized facts and spatial heterogeneity," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 4(3), pages 437-456.
    3. Ben Gardiner & Ron Martin & Peter Sunley & Peter Tyler, 2013. "Spatially unbalanced growth in the British economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(6), pages 889-928, November.
    4. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2014. "The Growth of Cities," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 5, pages 781-853 Elsevier.
    5. Ron Martin, 2012. "Regional economic resilience, hysteresis and recessionary shocks," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-32, January.
    6. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
    7. Bernard Fingleton & Harry Garretsen & Ron Martin, 2012. "Recessionary Shocks And Regional Employment: Evidence On The Resilience Of U.K. Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 109-133, February.
    8. Brakman, Steven & van Marrewijk, Charles, 2013. "Lumpy countries, urbanization, and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 252-261.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    resilience; shock sensitivity; urbanization;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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