Polycentric Development to Combat Regional Disparities? the Relation Between Polycentricity and Regional Disparities in European Countries
Trends in regional disparities have been a major issue in regional science for many decades and knowledge of ways to overcome such disparities has great importance for regional policy-making. Strong initial differences between regions affect the capacity of each region to grow and their ability to respond to challenges imposed externally, for instance globalisation and growing international competition and trade (Cuadrado-Roura, 2001). Initial differences can relate to a wide variety of factors, for instance the availability of human resources, the accessibility of a region and the presence of advanced production services. A factor that gets increasing attention is the city system. Flourishing regions can often count on a large, well-accessible and internationally known city or regional clusters of cities. Concentration of support to dynamic growth poles would be an engine for growth of the whole country (or regions) through regional spillovers (Perroux 1955 and Kaldor 1970) Particularly also in regional and spatial policies addressing regional disparities attention is paid to the city system. It has been suggested that polycentric development can be instrumental to reducing regional disparities, see for instance in the European Spatial Development Perspective (CEC, 1999) and the Second Cohesion Report (CEC, 2001). In the Third Cohesion Report the main emphasis is territorial cohesion, which is placed on an equal footing as economic and social cohesion in the (unratified) Constitutional Treaty. Within the discussion on territorial cohesion polycentricity gets much emphasis (Faludi, 2005). Also many European countries pursue a polycentric development, often addressing the dominance of their prime city to diminish regional disparities. Apparently, policy makers assume a strong relationship between the urban system and the persistence of regional disparities. However, this assumption lacks empirical justification. The aim of this paper is to test the hypothesis that a polycentric city system leads to less regional disparities. The paper presents measures of the extent of polycentricity of the national urban systems of 26 European countries. This data is linked with calculations of regional disparities within these 26 countries. Are countries with a relatively polycentric urban system characterised by less regional disparities than more monocentric countries? And, what are the consequences of our findings for regional development policies?
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Romer, Paul M, 1986.
"Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
- Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
- Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X., 1996. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1325-1352, June.
- Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Regional cohesion: Evidence and theories of regional growth and convergence," Economics Working Papers 104, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1994. "Regional Cohesion: Evidence and Theories of Regional Growth and Convergence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1075, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996. "Trade policy and the Third World metropolis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
- Raul Livas Elizondo & Paul Krugman, 1992. "Trade Policy and the Third World Metropolis," NBER Working Papers 4238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(2), pages 341-359, May.
- Anthony J. Venables, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0137, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Venables, Anthony J, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 802, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Juan R. Cuadrado-Roura, 2001. "Regional convergence in the European Union: From hypothesis to the actual trends," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 35(3), pages 333-356.
- Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, January.
- Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
- Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
- Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Diego Puga, 1998. "Agglomeration in the Global Economy: A Survey of the 'New Economic Geography'," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(6), pages 707-731, August.
- Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Puga, Diego, 1997. "Agglomeration in the Global Economy: A Survey of the 'New Economic Geography'," CEPR Discussion Papers 1699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Östbye, Stein & Westerlund, Olle, 2004. "Productivity convergence across industries and regions in Norway and Sweden," Umeå Economic Studies 632, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
- Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J., 1996. "Integration, specialization, and adjustment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 959-967, April.
- Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1993. "Integration, Specialization and Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 886, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Cheshire, Paul, 1999. "Trends in sizes and structures of urban areas," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 1339-1373 Elsevier.
- J. Vernon Henderson, 2000. "The Effects of Urban Concentration on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 7503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kaldor, Nicholas, 1970. "The Case for Regional Policies," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 17(3), pages 337-348, November.
- Magrini, Stefano, 1999. "The evolution of income disparities among the regions of the European Union," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 257-281, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p287. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.