The Revenge of the Places that Don't Matter (and What to Do About it)

30 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2017

See all articles by Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

Persistent poverty, economic decay, and lack of opportunities are at the root of considerable discontent in declining and lagging-behind areas the world over. Poor development prospects and an increasing belief that these places have 'no future' â?“ as economic dynamism has been posited to be increasingly dependent on agglomeration economies â?“ have led many of these so-called 'places that don't matter' to revolt against the status quo. The revolt has come via an unexpected source: the ballot-box in a wave of political populism with strong territorial, rather than social foundations. I will argue that the populist wave is challenging the sources of existing well-being in both the less-dynamic and the more prosperous areas and that better, rather than more, place-sensitive territorial development policies are needed in order to find a solution to the problem. Place-sensitive development policies need, however, to stay clear of the welfare, income-support, and big investment projects of past development strategies if they are to be successful and focus on tapping into untapped potential and on providing opportunities to those people living in the places that 'don't matter'.

Keywords: cities, economic development, place-sensitive policies, populism, regions, territorial inequality

JEL Classification: F63, O18, R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, The Revenge of the Places that Don't Matter (and What to Do About it) (November 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12473, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3082339

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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