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Productivity and resilience in regions and cities - Andrea Ascani

  1. Productivity and resilience in regions and cities Andrea Ascani
  2. Productivity decline Source: OECD, 2019
  3. Growing disparities Source: Iammarino, Rodriguez-Pose & Storper (2019)  Persistent and relentless process of increasing divergence between the productivity performances of regional economies within countries.  Growing polarization of development and employment opportunities in a very limited set of locations
  4. Perspective change  Recurrent shocks in the last two decades have reoriented the debate towards the concept of resilience [Christopherson et al., 2010; Pendall et al., 2010; Martin and Sunley, 2015]. o Territorial responses and vulnerability to disruptions and disturbances.  An evolutionary perspective on resilience [Pike et al., 2010; Boschma, 2015]: o On-going process of constant change o Resilient economies can adapt to changing markets, technologies, etc.  Adaptability as the capacity to “bounce forward” by creating new paths of development, rather than just employing local resources to reproduce existing structures (adaptation).
  5. An integrated framework Source: Iannone et al. (2022)  “Uncharted waters”: combining productivity and evolutionary resilience o Complex geography of regional profiles
  6. An integrated framework  Local economies with different but complementary activities in terms of required skills and technological competences (related variety). o Associated with relatively higher resilience and lower productivity  Regions with related varieties of activities, but also a large set of unrelated sectors do well in terms of both productivity and resilience. o Some capital regions (but not only) such as Île-de-France, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki…  Peripheral regions associated with a combination of low diversity of economic mix, bad institutions, low investment in human capital and physical capital. o Not a homogeneous group! Source: Iannone et al. (2022)
  7. So what?  Evolutionary resilience as the core of a regional development theory and policy approach. o The current crisis might be a moment in time to rethink traditional policy aims. o Should the main aim be productivity or resilience? Or both (is it possible)?  Ground policies into the local context (place-sensitive) o “Territorial capital” is heterogeneous, especially in a crisis where the structural weaknesses become more evident and regional disparities might increase in the recovery phase. o Open questions about potential radical changes such as remote working and digitalization.  Need for vertical coordination across levels of governments
  8. So what?  Policy failure during crises  Cognitive bias mixed with confirmation bias: o Skepticism about warnings and adoption of risky behaviours to make a point o Seizing upon information that confirms preferred position or hypothesis o Non-linear fashion of crisis (such as pandemic): start small but grow exponentially  difficult to tackle in real time o Actions should be taken very early when threat is small o If intervention works, it may be perceived as overreaction (bad for politicians)  Partial solutions and systematic approach oMeasures are effective in combination to other measures, not in isolation
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