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Wellington Public Policy Seminar: Promoting Growth in all Regions and OECD Regional Outlook

Tuesday, 04 September 2012, 12:30pm to 2:00pm

 

Speaker: Dr Jose Enrique Garcilazo, , Unit for the Rural and Regional Development Program within the Regional Development Policy Division at the OECD.

When: Tuesday 4th September, 12.30-2pm
Where: Spectrum Theatre, BP House, 20 Customhouse Quay Wellington

All Motu Public Policy Seminars are open to the public and are free to attend. You can sign up to receive email notification of Motu’s events and publications here.

Abstract
Recent OECD analysis highlights the importance of promoting growth in all regions, and in particular intermediate regions hosting medium size cities. This analysis reveals that although economic activity tends to concentrated in space—in particular in major urban cities—economic efficiency does not; and in fact can occur in different types of regions. The contribution by lagging regions to aggregate growth is quite substantial; roughly almost as important as the contribution from the most developed ones. Although there is no magical “one size all fit” formula that can be applied to all regions for promoting growth, the analysis finds that the most important growth drivers are specific to the region—these being in particular infrastructure, human capital, innovation and agglomeration. Perhaps the most important findings are, first, that the key factors are largely endogenous - i.e. they are items policy can address (as opposed to natural endowments or physical geography) - and, secondly, that these endogenous factors complement each other, suggesting that an integrated approach is needed. Therefore the role of policies and institutional factors is critical. In the past most policies aimed at supporting backward regions sought to “prop them up” through fiscal transfers and subsidies, an approach that yielded very poor results. This report provides fresh analysis that calls for a new approach. The analysis shows how relatively backward regions can in fact be potentially important sources of growth, but that a very different approach is needed to tap that potential.

Biography
Jose Enrique Garcilazo is the Head of Unit for the Rural and Regional Development Program within the Regional Development Policy Division at the OECD. His work has mainly focused in the areas of regional competitiveness, measuring the performance of regions and understating the key factors for growth at the regional level and their impact to aggregate performance. He obtained a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin at the LBJ School of public affairs.