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.

Presentations and background readings


💬 Regional productivity catching up: the role of EU cohesion policy and the OECD perspective - Alexander Lembcke, OECD
June 2018

📚 Productivity and jobs in a globalised world - (How) Can all regions benefit?
April 2018

💬 The contribution of regions to the productivity of nations - Joaquim Oliveira Martins, OECD 
February 2018

💬 Regional and metropolitan data and tools - Eric Gonnard, OECD
February 2018

📚 Better use of skills in the workplace -  Why it matters for productivity and local jobs
November 2017

📚 Does it pay to live in big(ger) cities? The role of agglomeration benefits, local amenities, and costs of living
December 2016

📚 OECD Regional Outlook 2016: Productive regions for inclusive societies
October 2016

📚 What makes cities more productive? Evidence on the role of urban governance from five OECD Countries
May 2014


💬 The Impact of new technologies on jobs and their effects on local economies - Philip McCann, University of Sheffield Management School, UK
June 2018

💬 Regional productivity catching up: the role of EU cohesion policy and the OECD perspective - Lewis Dijkstra, DG for Regional and Urban Policy
June 2018

💬 Building competitiveness and innovative capacity through culture and creativity - Pierluigi Sacco, IRVAPP
June 2018

📚 Ageing workforce and productivity: The unintended effects of retirement regulation in Italy 
October 2017

📚 Management practices, environmental conditions and productive efficiency in the service industry. An empirical study of the hotel industry in Trentino (Italian only)
January 2011

📚 New studies on growth and productivity in Trentino (Italian only)
March 2010

📚 Economic growth and productivity: Measurements and applications - The case of the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italian only)
September 2008 



CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2nd ERSA Winter School in collaboration with OECD - Spatial productivity for regional and local development
Deadline for applications: 28 September 2018

Workshop: Regional productivity catching up - The role of the EU cohesion policies and the OECD perspective 
3 June 2018 - 9.30 | Trento, Italy

Workshop: The determinants of job polarisation - Lessons from the Dutch local labour markets
2 June 2018 - 18.30 | Trento, Italy

Policy panel: Technology & Jobs, a perspective across levels of government
2 June 2018 - 15.00 | Trento, Italy

Key note lecture: Impact of new technologies on jobs and its effect on local economies
2 June 2018 - 11.00 | Trento, Italy

Workshop: Technology and work - The rise of Cultural and Creative Industries
1 June 2018 - 18.30 | Trento, Italy

1st meeting: The contribution of regions to the productivity of nations
21 February 2018 - 14.00 | Trento, Italy




News from our Partners

Book presentation: Regional disparities in the enlarged European Union 
21 June 2018 - 14.00 | Trento, Italy

The Network

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.

The OECD SPL Team 

Interested in partnering with the Trento Centre Spatial Productivity Lab? Contact us    




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