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REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In Search of Theory... [under construction!]

(http://faculty.washington.edu/krumme/207/proposit.html)

Conceptual Areas & Theoretical Propositions: [Organized on the basis of the Geography 207 conceptual Class Framework]

"Economic Growth": The expansion of a regional economy in terms of GDP, earnings, employment or employment opportunities

"Development": Based on some implicit or agreed-on goals and desirable outcomes, development implies an improvement in the human condition.

"Economic Development": implies both, an improvement in the economic condition of people as well as its accomplishment through economic means.

"Regional Economic Development": Due to the persisting geographical unevenness of economic development, economic geographers are interested in the spatial and regionalized manifestations of, and the processes associated with, the stimuli and barriers to economic `development.

Stutz, p.45; 528; 543

In the absence of a unified body of regional development theory, a large number of overlapping, explanatory propositions have been advanced by the literature of the past decades which, it is suggested, can be summarized in these categories:

  1. DISTRIBUTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES; LAND USE; Efficiency & Equity of their ownership & utilization Stutz, p.532

  2. (Lack of) LOCAL LEADERSHIP / ENTREPRENEURSHIP; How high is the local "entrepreneurial birth rate"? Stutz, p.34

  3. GEOGRAPHIC INCIDENCE OF INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE. TECHNOLOGY, HUMAN CAPITAL; LABOR PRODUCTIVITY [Quality of Education & (Re-)Training]. Conditions for continuing learning given the "PATH DEPENDENCY" of new knowledge and learning. Stutz, p. 531; 533; 539;

  4. PERCEPTIONS, ATTITUDES, VALUES, WORK ETHICS; Other cultural factors influencing economic development Stutz, p.528; 534;

  5. SOCIAL (including LEGAL), ECONOMIC (including FINANCIAL & COMMUNICATIONS), and POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS, SOCIAL OVERHEAD CAPITAL (SOC) & INFRASTRUCTURE Stutz, p.337; 436 (Porter's Competitive Advantage)

  6. LOCAL CAPITAL FORMATION & INVESTMENT; DISTRIBUTION (and REDISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS) OF (FACTOR) INCOMES, POVERTY, WEALTH & POWER (Ability to impose allocative preferences unto others] Stutz, p.532

  7. EFFICIENCY OF SERVICE PROVISIONS IN SPATIAL SYSTEMS; URBAN HIERARCHIES; and SYSTEMS of CITIES; Presence of URBANIZATION ECONOMIES; Role of Communication and Transportation Technologies in Improving Information Access and Personal Mobility in Cities Stutz, pp.335ff. (& Ch.6)

  8. INTRA-ORGANIZATIONAL and INTER-ORGANIZATIONAL ALLOCATION MECHANISMS; Access to internally generated capital and knowhow; Access to organizational networks. Ability of Host economy to benefit (and be negatively affected) from direct investment of foreign corporations and their oligopolistic structures & behaviors. See Handout [Keiretsu (Japan); Chaebol (Korea)] Stutz, pp.368ff.

  9. REGIONS ARE (to whatever degree) OPEN SUBSYSTEMS: open to positive & negative external influences in an increasingly transactions- dependent world. Extent to which Liberalization of Trade (GATT/WTO) will eliminate Needed Protection of Third World Industries in Early Stages of Development.[possibilities and advantages of 'selective closure'] Stutz, pp.455ff.

  10. EXPORT DEMAND FOR A REGION'S GOODS & SERVICES; Export promotion policies; [also: pitfalls of trade] Stutz, pp.429ff.; 436ff.

  11. MULTIPLIERS: INDIRECT (INTER-INDUSTRY) LINKAGE & (HOUSEHOLD/INCOME) INDUCED EFFECTS, Quality of the local ("non-basic") sector; INVESTMENT INCENTIVES, [also: (Primary & secondary) IMPORT SUBSTITUTION; Export Substitution (= shifting from raw material exports to processed industrial exports)]

  12. ACCESSIBILITY OF PLACES & CONNECTIVITY OF TRANSPORTATION & COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Networks), STRUCTURE OF TRANSACTION COSTS; Distributions systems and marketing channels; Kanban (just-in-time); Stutz, p.180-1

  13. MOBILITY and MIGRATION: EQUILIBRIATING OR DISEQUILIBRIATING PROCESS? Local creation (education) vs. import or export of embodied knowledge; "brain drain"; Microsoft Phenomenon (Brain gain). The "Washington State Model" of Development by Neglecting Higher Education. [Selected Migration Impacts] Stutz, p.73; 532

  14. CAPITAL MOBILITY & FLOWS; ACCESS TO VENTURE CAPITAL; FDI; Truncation & other issues: "Beauty and the Beast" (P.Dicken): Host-Region Propositions) Stutz, pp.438ff.

  15. STRUCTURAL CHANGE: 3+2-Sector Hypothesis (TSH); Changes in the COMPOSITION of the LABOR FORCE associated with Engel's Law and Differential Productivity Advances among economic activities; ROUNDABOUT Production also in the Services? More sophisticated Interdependence Patterns reflected in Changing Input-Output Structures. Role of "Informal Sector" activities; The Rise of the "Third Sector" (Jeremy Rifkin); Product Cycles; Changes in the Organization of Labor. Stutz, p.537/8;

  16. DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE & IMBALANCES [NEO-MALTHUSIANS] High population growth rates and resource limitations Stutz, p.529-30; p.542; also Ch.3

  17. LOCALIZATION AND POLARIZATION OF ECONOMIC CHANGE: Development is uneven! "Initial advantage"; cumulative processes; growth poles, industrial clusters and growth centers; key industries; Stutz, p.549

  18. ROLE OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE & INNOVATION (N.Kondratiev, Joseph Schumpeter; Francois Perroux, Mensch) in increasing labor productivities and the quality of life & work; "Appropriate" or "Intermediate" technology (E. Fritz Schumacher ["Small is Beautiful"]) Stutz, p.385;

  19. LONG-TERM AND SHORT-TERM PATTERNS OF CHANGE: Economic instabilities (business cycles) and flexibilities (Post-Fordism) Stutz, pp.383ff. (long waves)

  20. OPTIMISTIC CONCLUSIONS: MODERNIZATION; "Trickle-Down" (Hirschman) & "Take-Off" (Rostow) Processes; [Often associated with conservative perspectives] INTEGRATION & CONVERGENCE; PARTICIPATION; Social Mobility; Equalization; Civil Society & the Third (Volunteer) Sector; Beneficial Work of NGOs and Foundations. "Capitalism with a Human Face". Collaboration on the "Spaceship Earth"; Signs of environmental and social responsibilities of Western governments and corporations. Stutz, p.549

  21. PESSIMISTIC PROPOSITIONS: BACKWASH (Myrdal) and POLARIZATION Effects dominate over Spread Effects (Gunnar Myrdal). CONTINUING & INCREASING INEQUALITY & UNDERDEVELOPMENT & DEPENDENCE; Worsening of TERMS OF TRADE; MARGINALIZATION resulting from selected facets of GLOBALIZATION and the abundance of competing low-cost production locations; Capitalist, "exploitative" practices of multinational corporations; Digital & other "DIVIDES"; [Often associated with "Liberal" or more Radical Perspectives] Stutz, p.549


Literature and Other Resources:

Regional Development Literature

Amos, Orley: Growth Pole Cycles: Chapter 9 (Regional Development Theory) [Professor of Economics Oklahoma State University]. 1996 [10 Feb 96]

Fik, Timothy J., The Geography of Economic Development: Regional Changes, Global Challenges. 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2000.

Healey, Michael and Brian Ilbery. Location and Change: Perspectives on Economic Geography. Oxford Univ. Press, 1990.

Malecki, Edward J., Technology & Economic Development: The Dynamics of Local, Regional and National Competitiveness. 2nd. ed., 1997.

Stutz, F.P. & A.R.deSouza, The World Economy, 3rd edition, 1998 (Ch.12: "Development")


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