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Cohesion policy in the European Union: Growth, geography, institutions

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Listed:
  • Thomas Farole

    () (The World Bank)

  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

    () (IMDEA Ciencias Sociales)

  • Michael Storper

    () (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Since the reform of the Structural Funds in 1989, the EU has made the principle of cohesion one of its key policies. Much of the language of European cohesion policy eschews the idea of tradeoffs between efficiency and equity, suggesting it is possible to maximise overall growth whilst also achieving continuous convergence in outcomes and productivity across Europe’s regions. Yet, given the rise in inter-regional disparities, it is unclear that cohesion policy has altered the pathway of development from what would have occurred in the absence of intervention. This paper draws on geographical economics, institutionalist social science, and endogenous growth theory, with the aim of providing a fresh look at cohesion policy. By highlighting a complex set of potential tradeoffs and inter-relations – overall growth and efficiency; inter-territorial equity; territorial democracy and governance capacities; and social equity within places – it revisits the rationale of cohesion policy, with particular attention to the geographical dynamics of economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Farole & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2010. "Cohesion policy in the European Union: Growth, geography, institutions," Working Papers 2010-14, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  • Handle: RePEc:imd:wpaper:wp2010-14
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Riccardo Crescenzi & Andrés Rodriguez-Pose & Michael Storper, 2007. "The territorial dynamics of innovation: a Europe-United States comparative analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(6), pages 673-709, November.
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    7. Fagerberg, Jan, 1987. "A technology gap approach to why growth rates differ," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2-4), pages 87-99, August.
    8. A. Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2006. "R&D, spillovers, innovatoin systems and the genesis of regional growth in Europe," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0067, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    9. Gregory Spencer & Tara Vinodrai & Meric Gertler & David Wolfe, 2010. "Do Clusters Make a Difference? Defining and Assessing their Economic Performance," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(6), pages 697-715.
    10. Roberta Capello, 1999. "Spatial Transfer of Knowledge in High Technology Milieux: Learning Versus Collective Learning Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 353-365.
    11. McGuckin, Robert & Ark, Bart van, 2005. "Productivity and participation: an international comparison," GGDC Research Memorandum 200578, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
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