Regional Development

OECD Workshop: Regional Mobility and Regional Innovation Networks


This workshop was organised by the Working Party on Territorial Indicators

 on 7 June 2010, at the OECD Conference Centre, Paris



Session 1

9:30 - 11:15

Patterns and determinants of labor flows across regions



This session overviewed main trends in labor mobility across OECD regions, giving particular attention to rural-urban dynamics and out-flows of young adults. Participants discussed the role of regional policy instruments to counter de-population and fill labour shortages by attracting active labour. 

Questions for discussion:

  • Do OECD countries experience an increasing concentration of labour in certain regions? 
  • What strategies have countries and regional authorities been putting in place to prevent de-population of rural areas or too rapid population growth of cities?
  • Are there examples of regions which successfully reversed a de-population pattern?
  • What is the possible role of small/intermediate urban centers in retaining or creating incentives for the return of productive labour? 



Session 2

11:30 - 13:00

Location of immigrants within countries and impacts on regional development



This session analyzed the location choices of immigrants within OECD countries and presents the preliminary results on collecting comparable data for OECD countries on the size and characteristics of the immigrant population at the regional level. Three main issues were addressed: main drivers for the immigrants to concentrate in particular areas, how regions tend to attract immigrants with different levels of skills, and evidence on the impact of immigrants on the production structure of regions.

Questions for discussion:

  • How is the distribution of immigrants within countries evolving in OECD countries? 
  • How do the variation in skills and demographic composition of immigrants affect the local economy?
  • Are immigrants effectively filling labour and skills shortages in local labour market?
  • What is the role of regional policy in maximizing the gain from immigration?





Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Head of the Regional Development Policy Division, OECD Directorate for Public Governance and Territorial Development




Session 3

14:30 - 17:45

Regional Innovation Networks: new facts and policies


The changing nature of innovation is making the process increasingly open, user-driven, and multi-disciplinary. These trends require an increasingly networked form of innovation, including new types of innovation partners, and those networks have a clear spatial dimension. This session discussed some recent analysis on networking relationships and knowledge flows. Ways to measure how regional policy action can influence such dynamics were also discussed.

Questions for discussion:

  • How can region-level interactions that generate innovation, within and across regions, be identified and measured?
  • What kind of networks for innovation do emerge among regions and countries?
  • How can regional policy provide targeted support to needs of the industries and actors in each region so as to maximize the gains from the innovation process?
  • How do institutional and policy factors contribute to shape regional innovation networks?




Alessandra Colecchia, Head of the Economic Analysis and Statistics division, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry. (powerpoint presentation)




17:45 - 18:00

Conclusions and way forward



Conclusions and way forward: Dev Virdee, WPTI Chair


(Workshop participation by invitation only)



 Workshop Agenda





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