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The revenge of the places that don't matter (and what to do about it)

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  • Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s

Abstract

Persistent poverty, economic decay, and lack of opportunities are at the root of considerable discontent in declining and lagging-behind areas the world over. Poor development prospects and an increasing belief that these places have 'no future' – as economic dynamism has been posited to be increasingly dependent on agglomeration economies – have led many of these so-called 'places that don't matter' to revolt against the status quo. The revolt has come via an unexpected source: the ballot-box in a wave of political populism with strong territorial, rather than social foundations. I will argue that the populist wave is challenging the sources of existing well-being in both the less-dynamic and the more prosperous areas and that better, rather than more, place-sensitive territorial development policies are needed in order to find a solution to the problem. Place-sensitive development policies need, however, to stay clear of the welfare, income-support, and big investment projects of past development strategies if they are to be successful and focus on tapping into untapped potential and on providing opportunities to those people living in the places that 'don't matter'.

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  • Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s, 2017. "The revenge of the places that don't matter (and what to do about it)," CEPR Discussion Papers 12473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12473
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2012. "Trade and Regional Inequality," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 88(2), pages 109-136, April.
    2. Patrick Kline & Enrico Moretti, 2014. "People, Places, and Public Policy: Some Simple Welfare Economics of Local Economic Development Programs," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 629-662, August.
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    5. Roberto Ezcurra & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Trade Openness and Spatial Inequality in Emerging Countries," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 162-182, June.
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    7. Riccardo Crescenzi & Marco Di Cataldo & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2016. "Government Quality And The Economic Returns Of Transport Infrastructure Investment In European Regions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 555-582, September.
    8. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Roberto Ezcurra, 2010. "Does decentralization matter for regional disparities? A cross-country analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(5), pages 619-644, September.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
    10. Fabrizio Barca & Philip McCann & Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2012. "The Case For Regional Development Intervention: Place‐Based Versus Place‐Neutral Approaches," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 134-152, February.
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    Keywords

    cities; economic development; place-sensitive policies; populism; regions; territorial inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • 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)

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