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On the Notion of Regional Economic Resilience: Conceptualisation and Explanation

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  • Ron Martin

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  • Peter Sunley

Abstract

Over the past few years a new buzzword has entered academic, political and public discourse: the notion of resilience, a term invoked to describe how an entity or system responds to shocks and disturbances. Although the concept has been used for some time in ecology and psychology, it is now invoked in diverse contexts, both as a perceived (and typically positive) attribute of an object, entity or system and, more normatively, as a desired feature that should somehow be promoted or fostered. As part of this development, the notion of resilience is rapidly becoming part of the conceptual and analytical lexicon of regional and local economic studies: there is increasing interest in the resilience of regional, local and urban economies. Further, resilience is rapidly emerging as an idea ‘whose time has come’ in policy debates: a new imperative of ‘constructing’ or ‘building’ regional and urban economic resilience is gaining currency. However, this rush to use the idea of regional and local economic resilience in policy circles has arguably run somewhat ahead of our understanding of the concept. There is still considerable ambiguity about what, precisely, is meant by the notion of regional economic resilience, about how it should be conceptualized and measured, what its determinants are, and how it links to patterns of long-run regional growth. The aim of this paper is to address these and related questions on the meaning and explanation of regional economic resilience and thereby to outline the directions of a research agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2013. "On the Notion of Regional Economic Resilience: Conceptualisation and Explanation," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1320, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1320
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1320.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Audretsch, David B & Falck, Oliver & Feldman, Maryann P & Heblich, Stephan, 2008. "The Lifecycle of Regions," CEPR Discussion Papers 6757, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2011. "Conceptualizing Cluster Evolution: Beyond the Life Cycle Model?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1299-1318, November.
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    6. Giuseppe Arbia & Jean H. P. Paelinck, 2003. "Economic convergence or divergence? Modeling the interregional dynamics of EU regions, 1985–1999," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 291-314, November.
    7. Ron Martin, 2012. "Regional economic resilience, hysteresis and recessionary shocks," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-32, January.
    8. Valerie Cerra & Sweta Chaman Saxena, 2008. "Growth Dynamics: The Myth of Economic Recovery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 439-457, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shocks; Resilience; Robustness; Adaptability; Regional economies;

    JEL classification:

    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary

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