Forecasting Patterns of Regional Economic ChangeForecasting Patterns of Regional Economic Change: Indications for EU Public Administrations

Author: Takis Damaskopoulos
Series: Study
Publication Date: January 2009
Category: Premium Membership

This study aims at examining the nature of changes in the spatial and sectoral structure of economic activity in different regions of the EU and to assess their implications for regional economic development policy. More specifically, the study sets out to forecast the extent to which regions are capable of confronting the emerging economic challenges and to identify the potential constraints on changes required for maintaining their competitive position, which, in turn, can slow down economic growth and prevent them from achieving higher levels of real income.

A parallel concern of the study is to examine the extent to which there is a tendency, on the one hand, for regional economies to converge towards a common structure of economic activity or, on the other, for distinct patterns of specialization to persist or even become more evident. This is of relevance for policy, insofar as the greater the difference between regions in areas of specialization, the more the development path will differ, implying a greater need to take account of such differences when formulating strategies for supporting and encouraging development. At the same time, the greater the degree of regional specialization, the more the potential vulnerability of regions to external events which affect the industry or sector concerned, such as increased competition from new entrants into global markets, the dismantling of trade restrictions, or new technological developments.