• Rural policy;
  • rural development;
  • resource-based economies;
  • place-based policy

Place-based policy is both ubiquitous and widely criticised. The conventional economic case against place-targeted interventions is strong, relegating its application to a narrow range of cases of immobile labour resources, market imperfections and/or other externalities. However, both internationally and domestically, equity considerations lead to policies and programmes for disadvantaged regions and their populations. Budget constraints and accountability suggest a selection or ‘triage’ process targeting places with the highest returns in contributing to social welfare. Furthermore, the challenges facing rural areas may be fundamentally different in developed from developing countries. This article proposes a framework for assessing places appropriate for place-based policies, using the examples of Canada, Chile and Peru.