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

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  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

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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  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 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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    2. repec:ces:ifofor:v:19:y:2018:i:1:p:10-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Maruseva, Valeria & Kroll, Henning, 2024. "Potential and resilience: Evidence from peripheral regions of Germany," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 82, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    4. Manfred Perlik, 2021. "Impacts of Social Innovation on Spatiality in Mountain–Lowland Relationships — Trajectories of Two Swiss Regional Initiatives in the Context of New Policy Regimes," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(7), pages 1-24, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Territorial inequality; Regions; Cities; Populism; Place-sensitive policies;
    All these keywords.

    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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