Regional policy

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European economic development management

Course leader: 
Live dates: 
Wednesday, 29 September 2021 to Thursday, 13 January 2022
Live meetings: 
Wednesdays 18.00-20.00 and Thursdays 12.00-14.00 (Romania)
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Aims and scope: 

This course offers an advanced introduction to economic development management, with a focus on regional and local policies in the European Union. Throughout this course, you will be presented with some of the most current questions in European economic development management. Why do political leaders care about regional economic development? What are the main theoretical models for understanding differences in growth across countries and regions? Does the EU single market foster economic convergence? What are the main policies by which local and regional authorities attempt to promote economic development? Is territorial competition good for growth in Europe as a whole? Does EU cohesion spending work? Could the digital economy help regions that are lagging behind?

The course is divided into five parts. It starts by presenting the importance of regional and local economic development from an economic and political standpoint, and by providing an overview of the current situation across European regions. In the second part, the course goes on by presenting the main economic theories that can help us understand regional and local economic development, both in the long run and in the short run. The third part introduces the EU single market, with a focus on the analysis of its impact on economic convergence across European countries and regions. This is followed by a fourth part on the policies that regions and cities implement themselves to boost their own economic growth. The final part of the course analyses EU cohesion policy, how it works, why, and how it could be reformed. This course is aimed at advanced undergraduate and early graduate students with an interest in undestanding how regional and local policies work in order to transfer this knowledge directly into professional careers in the management of European economic development or use it as a basis for further study and research.

Methodology: 
This course will be based on a combination of lectures, seminars, and online written discussions.
Topics: 
1. European economic development management. Course overview. Why is regional policy important and what's in it for me? GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: 2. Measuring regional and local economic development: Is GDP per capita in PPS a good measure of regional economic development? 3. Explaining differences in territorial economic development: economic growth models. The neoclassical growth model. Conditional convergence. Is there regional economic convergence in the EU? 4. Transport costs, economies of scale, agglomeration effects... an introduction to new economic geography. Is a bad road the best industrial policy? 5. The regional economy in the short run. The export-base approach. The Keynesian multiplier. The input-output approach. How much is the regional government spending multiplier? EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: 6. Introduction to the EU and its policies. The single market. Trade creation and trade diversion. Does the EU single market benefit the centre at the expense of the periphery? 7. Foreign investment, migration and regional economic development. The EU's East-West migration. Do intra-EU foreign investment and migration help or hinder economic convergence? BOTTOM-UP LOCAL DEVELOPMENT POLICIES: 8. Local development instruments and strategies. Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. The competitive advantage of nations. 9. Local development instruments and strategies. Labour mobility. Capital vs. labour subsidies. Tax competition. Is territorial competition a good thing? 10. The local politics of economic development. Winners and losers from local economic growth. Why would anyone oppose local economic growth? TOP-DOWN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT POLICIES: 11. EU regional and local development policies. European Social Fund. European Regional Development Fund. Cohesion fund. Long-term effects of structural fund spending. Does one euro of cohesion investment generate 2.74 euros? 12. The politics of EU regional development policy. Are EU funds side-payments to other EU policies? Principles of concentration, programming, partnership, additionality. Why can relatively small spending have a great impact on cohesion? 13. Reform. Tackling the centre-periphery issue. Trade in services. Freeports. Will a green and digital transition increase cohesion in Europe? 14. Closing lecture. Review.
Indicative reading: 
Armstrong, H., & Taylor, J. (2000). Regional economics and policy, 3rd ed. Wiley; Pike, A., Rodriguez-Pose, A., & Tomaney, J. (2017). Local and Regional Development. Routledge; Crescenzi, R., & Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2011). Innovation and regional growth in the European Union. Springer; McCann, P. (2015). The regional and urban policy of the European Union: Cohesion, results-orientation and smart specialisation. Edward Elgar.
Teaching modules: