Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

July 20, 2018

# 18.26 Strategies of gain and strategies of waste: What determines the success of development intervention?

Filed under: 2018 — Tags: , , , , — T.Broekel @ 11:04 am

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Callum Wilkie


Abstract: The development policy landscape has, in recent years, been dominated by four types of interventions: (1) infrastructure expansion and development; (2) the attraction of inward investment; (3) the promotion of innovation and development of human capital; (4) the cultivation of agglomeration and physical co-location. This paper engages with these four broad policy types with a view to, first, assess and comment on the utility of these approaches in different development contexts, and, second, provide an indication of what has worked and what has not worked in the design and implementation of these strategic actions. It relies on a review of a handful of ‘strategies of gain’ and ‘strategies of waste’ to ascertain insights into the steps that should be taken to maximise the likelihood that territorial development policies – irrespective of the development axis towards which they are oriented – fulfil their potential and contribute to the reduction of the territorial disparities in developed and developing contexts alike. The lessons drawn from this review are four-fold: i) development strategies composed of multiple related and mutually-reinforcing actions and interventions across development areas deliver better results; ii) strategic approaches to the promotion of economic growth that are solidly grounded in robust diagnoses are generally more successful; iii) the awareness of where exactly the territory is situated on the development spectrum is crucial; and iv) the institutional dimension cannot be left un-addressed in the design and implementation of policy interventions. These lessons are supplemented by a general framework relating to how territorial approaches to development should be designed for areas at different points in their development trajectories.

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