An Analysis of the Romanian Learning Regions: Characteristics, Trends and Policies
48th Congress of the European Regional Science Association Conference Paper
11 Pages Posted: 1 May 2009
Date Written: April 23, 2009
It is almost unanimously accepted that research and development, innovation and knowledge creation play a major role in regional competitiveness and, furthermore, they largely contribute to progress and economic growth. Although there is not a unique definition and perspective, the concept of learning region is strongly related to the one of regional development. The aim of this paper is to correlate learning with social and economic development. The paper addresses the following questions: To what extent do the learning regions in Romania provide a framework for innovation, development and social inclusion? Do they provide the “underlying environment or infrastructure which facilitates the flow of knowledge, ideas and learning?” as Richard Florida defined them. Romania is organized into eight regions of development (42 counties were grouped using industrial and global indicators, and thus the eight regions of development were formed). Our study identifies four major learning regions. The criteria we used consist in the territorial educational institutions, the number of employees from research-development activities and the contribution of these regions to the Gross National Product (GDP). Thus, the number of territorial educational institutions in these learning regions is 72.89% of the total number of territorial educational institution nationwide and the number of employees from research-development activities is 73.8% of the total number of employees from research-development activities nationwide. These four regions contribute with 54% to GDP. Our study is based on data provided by the National Institute of Statistics and the Regional Development Agencies in Romania. Besides characterizing the learning regions in Romania and pointing out their relationship with regional development, our paper also aims at discussing future trends and possible policies which can contribute to the increase of regional competitiveness by becoming aware of the role of knowledge and innovation in valuing the economic potential of a region.
Keywords: learning regions, education, knowledge, regional development, policy
JEL Classification: D83, I21, I28, R11, R58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation