Agglomeration and knowledge in European regional growth

Teodora Dogaru, Frank Van Oort, Dario Diodato, Mark Thissen

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Treaty establishing the European Community sets economic and social cohesion as one of the main priorities of the Union. This priority is operationalized by the EU cohesion policy that should promote economic and social progress as well as a high level of employment, and to achieve balanced and sustainable development. Since its inception and the first programming period, the Treaty’s text has very often been interpreted as the promotion of convergence among regions, as measured in terms of GDP per head. In a recent discussion, scholars argue that the perspective of per-capita income convergence is actually quite limited, for two reasons (Becker et al. 2010, Montfort 2009, Beugelsdijk and Eijffinger 2005, Magrini 2004, Ederveen et al. 2006). First, income captures only one of the several dimensions of economic development and well-being, especially from the point of view of measuring inequality. Second, regional convergence does not always adequately capture or reflect economic development opportunities. Especially the efficiency goal of cohesion policy is targeted at a full use of a region’s potential and economic growth and does not necessarily result in convergence. Diverging growth trajectories and speeds on varying spatial scales due to the existence of agglomeration economies (i.e. advantages of larger urban regions or specialized regions), global urban network effects of spillovers stemming from professional relations, differing strategies for regional economic resilience and technology adaptation, or localized national or regional policies also contribute to these differences (Baldwin and Wyplosz 2009, Capello et al. 2008, Derudder et al. 2011).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHub Cities in the Knowledge Economy
Subtitle of host publicationSeaports, Airports, Brainports
PublisherTaylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781317120551
ISBN (Print)9781409445913
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Sven Conventz, Ben Derudder, Alain Thierstein, Frank Witlox and the contributors 2014.


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