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: