Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED Programme)
The Spatial Productivity Lab at the OECD Trento Centre
What are the mechanisms of regional productivity catch-up? To what extent does aggregate productivity depend on agglomeration economies generated in cities?
Today, globally, there are two major productivity challenges that OECD countries face: decreased growth and increased inequality.
For the Spatial Productivity Lab, the main issue is how regional, rural and urban policy can help find a more inclusive and dynamic system for economic growth. In recent years, the predominant perspective on regional policy has changed. The new regional policy paradigm focuses on growth, competitiveness and well-being; it aims at strengthening the link between regional dimensions and country aggregate outcomes. The regional policy approach has moved away from compensating lagging regions for undesirable effects of macroeconomic conditions and policies to identifying the ways for each region to contribute to aggregate performance via promoting its (productivity) growth potential.
The Spatial Productivity Lab at the OECD Trento Centre participates in the broader OECD work on productivity. It develops analysis around the concept of “spatial productivity” in co-ordination with the OECD Global Forum on Productivity. The work of the Spatial Productivity Lab focuses on mechanisms that support the catching up process of regions and cities that are lagging behind the (national or global) productivity frontier. It assesses to what extent national productivity can increased through national, regional and local policy measures, e.g. through better policies and governance arrangements that leverage agglomeration economies generated by cities beyond the city itself.
This activity will be implemented in co-operation with national institutions in Italy, interested OECD countries; as well as with regional authorities of Trentino Alto Adige Sudtirol, other regions in Italy and other OECD countries. The research team will include economists and related researchers detached from OECD and other relevant research centres, universities in Italy and internationally.