Place-Based Policies - How to Do Them and Why

32 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2021

See all articles by Jens Suedekum

Jens Suedekum

Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: August 2021

Abstract

Place-based policies had a bad reputation for decades, if they received any attention at all. This has recently changed, for two reasons. First, many countries have experienced political backlashes from rising spatial economic disparities. Populist movements received the highest support in economically backward regions, which had been hit by severe local shocks. By trying to foster spatial economic cohesion, regional policies have become an attempt to insure against those political trends and to save liberal democracies altogether. Second, recent theoretical and empirical research has challenged the leading paradigm of spatial equilibrium analysis, according to which place-based policies are an inefficient interference into the market-based resource allocation. In this paper, I review those arguments and how their balance has changed over time. I argue that the demand for place-based policies is likely to increase in the future, as new digital technologies might reinforce urban-rural divides. But even if the general case for place-based policies now seems to be more widely accepted, the question remains what exactly should be done and which type of programs generate the highest return. Digging through the vast evaluation literature, I try to derive some robust lessons how to conduct place-based policies in practise.

Keywords: Place-Based Policies, Regional Policies

Suggested Citation

Südekum, Jens, Place-Based Policies - How to Do Them and Why (August 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16468, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3928765

Jens Südekum (Contact Author)

Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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