Primavera 2007



Hans-Friedrich-Eckey and Matthias Türck

Convergence of EU-Regions. A Literature Report

The main focus of convergence studies surrounds the question of whether poor economies catch up to wealthier economies over time. The regional convergence process in Europe has generated considerable interest in recent years. Due to financial straits regional convergence is a central question, since important funds aim at diminishing disparities. There are many studies published recently dealing with this issue using different empirical approaches. The β-convergence framework, which was introduced by Barro and Sala-i-Martin, is, for instance, an often used approach. This paper provides a critical review of the used approaches and summarises the results. A special problem is that authors refer to different periods and Member State groups (EU-9, EU-15, etc.). Altogether it can be stated that most models find a slow convergence process. In particular, the increase of regional inequalities caused by the enlargement of the EU with the New Member States from Central and Eastern Europe explains the existence of convergence clubs.

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F. Javier Escribá y M.ª José Murgui

The technological capital as production factor in Spanish regions, 1980-2000

In this work we construct a database of regional technological capital, with the maximun disaggregation compatible with Official Regional Accounts of Spain. In addition, we analyze the goodness of these series and their performance in the estimation of regional aggregate production functions. In the estimations both own technological capital and external capital are included. The results show reasonable estimated values of the output elasticities, which imply rates of return to technological capital much higher that to other types of capital.

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Ramón Barberán Ortí y Laura Espuelas Jiménez

The inter territorial redistributive effects of the autonomic budgets: methodology of measurement and empirical evidences

This work develops a methodology for the calculation of the redistributive effects at territorial level caused by the budgetary activity of the regional governments and applies it to the Autonomous Community of Aragón in the 1999-2001 period. The obtained results show that the regional governments can cause important redistributive effects at provincial level and that such effects move away substantially of the habitual normative criterion that takes as reference the population and the GDP. These effects are much more noticeable and less predictable than the ones generated by the central government, according to the most recent estimations of the regional fiscal balances.

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José A. Gómez-Limón y Almudena Gómez Ramos

Public opinion about the irrigated agriculture and its contribution on social welfare

The Water Framework Directive requires a public participation into the new water planning process. This paper develops an analysis of the public opinion about the irrigated agriculture in Castilla y León as a previous step for the design of an active and successful participation process. In order to do so, a survey has been conducted addressing environmental and social effects of irrigated agriculture and the different instruments available for public management of these agricultural systems. The results show how regional public opinion considers positively the irrigated agriculture because of its contributions to social welfare. However, it is thought that the budget burden required for the transformation and the maintenance of these kind of agricultural systems could be used more efficiently in other public policies. As a consequence, regional society refuses policies based on transforming new areas into irrigation. Opposite, it is demanded a more strict regulatory policy that minimizes its environmental impact in the region.

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Jorge Eduardo Mendoza Cota y Jorge Alberto Pérez Cruz

Effects of the agglomeration and the industrial links in the pattern of manufacturing growth in Mexico

The Mexican economy experienced a geographical dispersion of the manufacturing sector localization that favored the northern border region and the states surrounding Mexico City during the period 1980-2003. The result was caused by the previous higher concentration and because of the economic liberalization of the Mexican economy since 1985. A generalized method of moment econometric model was developed to estimate the influence of manufacturing agglomeration, inter-industrial links and distance in the location decisions of the manufacturing firms. The results showed evidence that industrial dispersion has had a negative impact in localization of manufacturing firms, weakening the inter-industrial links and the economies of scale.

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Beatriz González Vázquez

The importance of the interorganizational relations in Spanish technological parks: some empirical observations

The relationships between the agents integrating innovative spaces are essential for the development and success of these spaces. This article analyses the networks of relationships occurring in several technological areas. Our aim is to verify whether they follow or not the same pattern. These networks may be studied from a reticulated perspective, on the basis of the companies´ attributes and the relational variables generated between them, as well as from the search for a quantitative explanatory model point of view. The empirical analysis has been made in three Technological Parks and its outcome shows that the structure of the networks is influenced by the growth strategy put in place by the management of the parks, taking into account the industrial conditions of their geographical area. The quantitative analysis confirms the core-periphery model observed in the networks.

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Olivier Meunier, Michel Mignolet y Marie-Eve Mulquin

Interpersonal transfers: Do they impact the growth of poor and rich European regions?

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how national interpersonal transfer policies affect regions’ economic growth. Reviewing the economic literature, we found only incidental evidences and contradictory conclusions. Our objective is to provide some statistical evidence of the relation between interregional interpersonal redistribution towards poor European regions and their relative growth. Using some recent developments in the field of spatial data analysis, we found that interpersonal transfers do not seem to affect negatively the economic growth of poor European regions, while it is not possible to assert their impact on rich regions.

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Books and publications


Surveys and Debates

Iván Finot

The Processes of Decentralization in Latin America

The processes of the region until now are oriented fundamentally to ensure the accomplishment of national social policies. How to make to orient them also to harness the local autonomy –and mainly to do it in conditions of equality– in order to make the local and regional development possible, and in addition to advance in other objectives? To respond to this question the author elaborates a synthesis of the economic theory on decentralization and, to the light of this frame, he widely reviews the processes of the region, using for it the unequal existing information. Their main recommendations to orient the processes are: (i) to differentiate between systems from financing from «corporate properties» and other potentials goods to decentralize: «territorial goods», where the fairness principle would be «equal level of provision to equal fiscal effort»; (ii) to induce an political-administrative territorial reordering oriented to reduce great demographic inequalities and of capacity between circumscriptions of a same level, and (iii) to take advantage of better endogenous capacities self-government.

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Jordi Suriñach, Javier Romaní y Montserrat Termes

Does broadband affect economic growth? Agents and territory

This paper brings up an amount of information, data and estimations, most of them originated in academic literature, with the objective of generating a debate on the economic effects of broadband, rather than its technical issues. Our goal is to start a debate that brings out the economic effects of broadband implementation. To achieve this goal, we start with a brief review of the different existing technologies, the process of broadband implementation and extension, the role of the different agents involved (carriers and providers, government, regulators) and the effect of regulation and competition in this market. After this introduction, an analysis of the territorial effect of broadband is performed. The article concludes with some final thoughts and an exhaustive bibliography for those who want to analyze this subject in depth.

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European Social Policy

Rubén Garrido Yserte, Tomás Mancha Navarro y Juan R. Cuadrado Roura

Regional and Cohesion Policy in EU: Twenty years of improving and a new future

This paper shows the main lines of European cohesion and regional policy (CRP) from its configuration in The Single European Act to the actual period of programming 2007-2013, taking as starting point the analysis of main change vectors of its development. The paper analyzes basically the last two periods of programming and it presents the basic trends of the actual period implementing the three new objectives: convergence, regional competitiveness and European regional cooperation; a more concentrate emphasis in programming and budgeting tasks; a reorientation of proportionality principle and, finally, an special emphasis in simplification and decentralisation. These new proposals introduce some doubts on the performances related to the possibility of paying less attention to regional realities and serious difficulties for matching with the Lisbon strategy.

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Books reviews