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Developing Typologies of City-Regional Growth


  • Sasha Thomas


  • Ian Robins



The economic performance of city-regions is closely linked to the performance of the national economy. However, the performance of the national economy can also depend on the performance of one or more major city-regions, that act as growth poles. Because of their sectoral structure and other characteristics, some cities are better equipped to become growth poles than others. This paper studies 46 major city-regions across Europe. The sectoral structure and changes in the sectoral structure of city-regions are studied using data from CE’s European Regional Database, itself based on Eurostat’s Regio database. The data analysis attempts to explain city-region performance by drawing parallels between sectoral structure and economic performance. The data analysis is supplemented by local anecdotal evidence provided by CE’s annual European reporting system ‘European Regional Prospects’, for example the historical importance of river and seafront activities. The paper goes on to discuss the extent to which the sectoral structure of cities can explain why some city-regions grow faster than others. The data analysis will be used to group cities in ‘hard’ typologies according to sectoral specialisation. These sectoral typologies are then compared with typologies according to the local, ‘softer’, evidence provided by CE’s regional consultants. This evidence will also be used to draw out the more subtle influences on city-region growth and these will be used to group cities in ‘soft’ typologies.

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  • Sasha Thomas & Ian Robins, 2005. "Developing Typologies of City-Regional Growth," ERSA conference papers ersa05p588, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p588

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ulrich Schmoch, 1999. "Impact of international patent applications on patent indicators," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 119-131, August.
    2. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," 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 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
    3. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Longhi, Christian & Musolesi, Antonio & Baumont, Catherine, 2014. "Modeling structural change in the European metropolitan areas during the process of economic integration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 395-407.

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