Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Relaunch of productivity for regional growth and cohesion


 25-26 August 2021Remote participation

OECD Spatial Productivity Lab and Politecnico di Milano special session at the 60th ERSA Congress on "Territorial Futures - Visions and scenarios for a resilient Europe", 24-28 August 2021


Productivity is the main determinant of living standards. Economies that are more productive generate greater ability to support and enhance wellbeing of their citizens via higher incomes, better infrastructure, more services and improved sustainability of welfare systems. As productivity growth in the OECD and EU countries slows down, while the subnational productivity disparities are on the rise, the regional dimension of productivity comes to the fore.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has further underscored the importance of the spatial dimension both for the spread of the disease and the ability of places to cope with the economic and social repercussions. As the world returns to “normal”, a renewed attention is needed to the ways of empowering all regions to recover, to grow and to use the opportunities opened by the pandemic for stimulating productivity growth and reducing inequalities.


Why spatial dimension matters

Current productivity discourse, both in academia and policy-making, predominantly revolves around national and sectoral (or industry-level) productivity determinants. Due to their general scope, current national policies based on the research lacking a subnational dimension are unlikely to effectively leverage regional and local assets for enhanced regional productivity growth and cohesion.
Regional science research on subnational productivity performance and its regional drivers offers actionable insights that can help regions devise more successful growth policies. Yet, we still know relatively little about the subnational productivity dynamics and its determinants. Our list of “known unknowns” only grew during the pandemic.

The Spatial Productivity Lab and Politecnico di Milano special session

The special session will offer a forum for research that advances our knowledge on the spatial drivers of productivity and the ways for regions to facilitate productivity growth and catching up. Presentations will address regional productivity through the following lens:

  • Institutions and the public sector.
  • Innovation and technology.
  • Industrial structure and industrial transitions.
  • Regional competitiveness and resilience.


More Information

Four sub-sessions

25 Aug 2021 | 10.15-11.45

S09-S1 Relaunch of productivity for regional growth and cohesion: Institutions, the public sector and productivity

25 Aug 2021 | 12.00-13.30
S09-S2 Relaunch of Productivity for Regional Growth and Cohesion: Innovation, technology and productivity 

26 Aug 2021 | 12.00-13.30
S09-S3 Relaunch of productivity for regional growth and cohesion: Industrial structure, transitions and productivity

26 Aug 2021 | 16.15-17.45
S09-S4 Relaunch of productivity for regional growth and cohesion: Productivity, competitiveness and resilience


Official website


The OECD Spatial Productivity Lab


Politecnico di Milano 


[email protected]


Politecnico di Milano contacts






25 Aug 2021 | 16.15-17.45  
S64 Regional competitiveness and growth: Microeconomic drivers

  • Irene Di Marzio, Junior Researcher, Bank of Italy
  • Giulia Bovini, Junior Researcher, Bank of Italy
  • Wessel Vermeulen, Junior Economist, OECD Trento Centre for Local Development
  • Alexandra Tsvetkova, Economist and Co-ordinator of the Spatial Productivity Lab, OECD Trento Centre for Local Development

27 Aug 2021 | 14.30-16.00
S63 Regional competitiveness and growth: Macroeconomic trends

  • Antonio Accetturo, Senior Researcher, Bank of Italy

  • Andrea Locatelli, Bank of Italy
  • Fernanda Gutierrez Amaros, PhD student, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy 


26 Aug 2021 | 14.30-16.00
RT3 Green transitions in regions: From COVID-19 to a green and sustainable future

  • Rudiger Ahrend, Head of Division, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
  • Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
  • Myriam Bovéda, European Commission
  • Paula Kivimaa, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, University of Chicago, US
  • Mures Zarea, ENGIE Research, France