Regional development

Regions Matter: Economic Recovery, Innovation and Sustainable Growth


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Why do some regions grow faster than others, and in ways that do not always conform to economic theory? This is a central issue in today’s economic climate, when policy makers are looking for ways to stimulate new and sustainable growth.

OECD work suggests that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to regional growth policy. Rather, regions grow in very varied ways and the simple concentration of resources in a place is not sufficient for long-term growth.

This report draws on OECD analysis of regional data (including where growth happens, country-by-country), policy reviews and case studies. It argues that it is how investments are made, regional assets used and synergies exploited that can make the difference.



Public investment should prioritise longer-term impacts on productivity growth and combine measures in an integrated way.

This suggests an important role for regional policies in shaping growth and economic recovery policies, but also challenges policy makers to implement policy reforms.


There is no unique pattern of sustainable growth. Concentration of economic activity does not necessarily yield higher levels of productivity or higher growth rates. Opportunities for growth exist in all types of regions across the entire territory and will depend on how well the region is capable of mobilising its assets to make full use of its potential growth.  Figure 1 reflects this in the case of Germany.






 How to obtain this publication


Readers can access the full version of Regions Matter: Economic Recovery, Innovation and Sustainable Growth by choosing from the following options:




Why regions matter -
Developing regional economic growth


Mark Drabenstott, former Chair of the Territorial Development Policy committee, talks about why regions matter.









Further reading




For further information please contact Andrew Davies by email:


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