Développement économique et création locale d’emplois (LEED)

Regional institutions and productivity: Implications for policy


 10 March 2022   14.00-15.30 CET Remote participation  

The event represented the 16th meeting of the Spatial Productivity Lab at the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development

Who we are

The Spatial Productivity Lab (SPL)

The Spatial Productivity Lab (SPL) at the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development is a dedicated research laboratory that works with local and global partners to advance knowledge about the ways regional policy and a better understanding of spatial links can improve productivity growth and thereby the creation of better jobs and well-being.


Focus of this meeting

Regional institutions and productivity: Implications for policy

Institutions matter. Decades ago, Douglass North called institutions the underlying determinant of economic performance and growth prospects (North D. (1991). Institutions. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1), pp. 97-112). Since then, the appreciation for the role of institutions, and of governance arrangements in particular, in economic performance of nations and regions only grew. This meeting brought together resent research and offers policy perspectives on the link between regional quality of government and productivity.

The event, online, was open to civil society and all those interested in the topic upon free registration.





Material & Information


Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)







Speakers (in speaking order)

Alexandra TSVETKOVA 

Alexandra Tsvetkova
Lead, Spatial Productivity Lab, Trento Centre for Local Development, OECD


Alessandra PROTO 

Alessandra Proto
Head, Trento Centre for Local Development, OECD




Enrique Garcilazo
Head, Regional and Rural Policy Unit and Deputy Head, Regional Development and Multi-level Governance Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), OECD 




Andres Rodriguez-Pose
The Princesa de Asturias Chair and Professor of Economic Geography, LSE, UK 



Victor Lapuente
Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Research Fellow, Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Dylan JONG 

Dylan Jong
Post-Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, the Netherlands


Charles SEAFORD 

Charles Seaford
Senior Fellow, Demos, UK


Mariarosaria AGOSTINO 

Mariarosaria Agostino
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Statistics and Finance, University of Calabria, Italy


   Alexandra RUSU

Alexandra Rusu
Economist/Policy Analyst, CFE, OECD




Bart van Ark
Professor of Productivity Studies, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester and Managing Director and Principal Investigator, The Productivity Institute, UK


Webinar replay


Previous SPL meetings

15th SPL meeting | 14 December 2021 | Trento, Italy

Trento @Massimo Parisi

Recent trends in Trentino and Alto-Adige/South Tyrol (Italy)

The last SPL meeting of the year is traditionally devoted to the host region of the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development, the Autonomous Region Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol. The meeting brought together local SPL partners and other local stakeholders to present and discuss recent economic and social trends, as well as empirical research focused on the territory. 

Agenda & presentations


 Meeting summary (EN/IT)



14th SPL meeting | 8 September 2021 | DIGITAL

Innovation diffusion: How can regions benefit?

Innovation is the most important contributor to long-term economic growth. It is not just about “pushing the frontier”, but also about the spread of ideas and technologies throughout the economy. Innovation diffusion can help regions to catch up by integrating and building on existing ideas and technologies. Yet, the spread of innovation seems to be slow. What are the mechanisms of innovation diffusion, what are the barriers and how can regions more actively and successfully learn in order to increase their productivity, competitiveness and wellbeing?

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


13th SPL meeting | 11 May 2021 | DIGITAL

Adoption of advanced technologies: Productivity and labour market implications

Firms make continuous capital investments. Some of these investments have the potential to completely change the production process, in terms of productivity and in the role for existing employees. This SPL meeting collected insights on the implications of the adoption of advanced technologies for firms and workers, with a specific focus on the use of micro data and through local lens. The meeting combined empirical evidence from Canada and the US, as well as an OECD-wide perspective. The presentations served as a foundation for a panel discussion with the speakers.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

12th SPL meeting | 4 February 2021 | DIGITAL

Spatial productivity in the post-COVID world 

As the world is changed by the pandemic, the mechanisms defining productivity of firms and regions are likely to be reshaped. What will stay the same and what will be different? How the crisis can be used as an opportunity to leap forward to a more productive, but also more inclusive, world with no places left behind? The webinar offered an opportunity to explore these and other pressing questions through the lens of labour markets, regional innovation systems and resilience.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


11th SPL meeting | 10 December 2020 | DIGITAL

Recent socioeconomic trends in Trentino and Alto-Adige/South Tyrol (Italy)

This meeting brought together the SPL and its partners to discuss the social and economic situation during the COVID-19 pandemic in our host region, Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol. Representatives of the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development, the Bank of Italy Trento Branch, the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (EURICSE) and the University of Trento presented recent analyses of the trends in contagion, mobility, industrial output, credit, labour markets and labour demand, as well as social economy.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)



10th SPL meeting | 29 October 2020 | DIGITAL

Business incentives and firm entry: The past, the present and the future

The effectiveness of business incentives is a subject of debate among researchers but is a popular tool of supporting regional and local economic development. This seminar offered different perspectives on the link (established in the past) between policy-mandated business support and new firm entry. The differing points of view served as a background for a roundtable discussion among academics and practitioners on the ways to make incentives more effective, to bridge academic research and policy practice and to boost firm formation during and after the pandemic.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

9th SPL meeting | 3 September 2020 | DIGITAL

The new reality of teleworking: People, firms, places

The webinar brought together experts from academia, policy and policy research to share insights and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on teleworking/ homeworking and how the increase in working from home has affected mobility, productivity, wellbeing and local public policy.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


8th SPL meeting | 7 May 2020 | DIGITAL

The world changed by COVID-19: Policy, economy, society

The impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic are highly localised. What are the regional dimensions of the crisis – from economy to policy to society – and how will regions emerge from the current crisis? Profound economic effects of the spread of coronavirus are already sorely felt across the world. The geographic pattern of the impacts on regional economies will not necessarily follow the pattern of the virus hot spots. Indeed, both geography and sectoral specialisation play a key role. Analyses of the pandemic’s labour impacts and regional policy responses together with a discussion of the ways to shape people’s expectations were presented at this SPL meeting.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)



7th SPL meeting | 20 February 2020 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconRegional connectivity and firm growth

The meeting was devoted to regional connectivity and firm growth. The first paper focused on the role of Global Value Chains (GVCs) and on the ways for regions to leverage connectivity for innovation and local growth. The second paper investigated the determinants of firm growth acceleration, which is a powerful economic driver.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

6th SPL meeting | 11 December 2019 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconRecent economic trends in Italy and the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano

The meeting was devoted to the analysis of recent economic trends in Italy and the Spatial Productivity Lab's host region, the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


5th SPL meeting | 10 October 2019 | Venice, Italy

SPL iconSpatial productivity for regional and local development

The meeting presented a comprehensive overview of the literature, which identifies spatial and aspatial (those based on the firm- and industry-level research) productivity determinants. Invited speakers looked at specific mechanisms and processes related to geographical variations in productivity, such as agglomerations, Global Value Chains, migration, innovation networks and sorting of businesses and individuals across space.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


4th SPL meeting | 17 April 2019 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconDemography and productivity

The meeting was devoted to the theme of demography and productivity. The first paper explored demographic employment patterns along business cycle, while the other offered insights into the needed productivity improvements to overcome the negative effects of aging. 

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

3rd SPL meeting | 7 February 2019 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconEconomic resilience

The meeting was dedicated to economic resilience, an ability of places to withstand negative shocks and to recover. The two presented papers focused on how regions with different industrial organisation and structure respond to various shocks and what can be done to enhance resilience.

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)

2nd SPL meeting | 4 December 2018 | Trento, Italy

SPL iconPlace-based policies promoting productivity

The meeting focused on the importance of place-based policies promoting productivity for regional and local development. 

Agenda & presentations


Meeting summary (EN/IT)


1st SPL meeting | 21 February 2018 | Trento Italy

SPL iconThe contribution of regions to the productivity of nations

The first informal meeting of the Spatial Productivity Lab hosted a presentation by Joaquim Oliveira Martins, OECD 




SPL Partners

‌ School of International Studies - Trento University Ispat ‌ ‌‌ 

Brescia University‌ 
Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum Sheffield University Management School  Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy - Ohio State University 
Euricse Productivity Partnership‌ 
CEPII Orkestra Gran Sasso Science Institute‌