The authors are grateful to Jim Rollo, the editor of the journal, two anonymous reviewers and to Philippe Aghion, Ash Amin, Fabrizio Barca, Philippe Keefer, Jacques Lecacheux, Philippe Martin, Philip McCann, Diego Puga, Gert Tingaard Svendsen, Guido Tabellini, David Wolfe and other participants at a seminar held in Brussels for their insightful suggestions. They would also like to acknowledge the generous financial support of a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship and of the PROCIUDAD-CM programme. The article is also part of the research programme of the independent UK Spatial Economics Research Centre funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Communities and Local Government and the Welsh Assembly Government. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funders or of the World Bank.
Cohesion Policy in the European Union: Growth, Geography, Institutions
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies
Volume 49, Issue 5, pages 1089–1111, September 2011
How to Cite
FAROLE, T., RODRÍGUEZ-POSE, A. and STORPER, M. (2011), Cohesion Policy in the European Union: Growth, Geography, Institutions. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 49: 1089–1111. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5965.2010.02161.x
- Issue published online: 27 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2011
Since the reform of the Structural Funds in 1989, the EU has made the principle of cohesion one of its key policies. Much of the language of European cohesion policy eschews the idea of trade-offs between efficiency and equity, suggesting it is possible to maximize overall growth while also achieving continuous convergence in outcomes and productivity across Europe's regions. Yet, given the rise in inter-regional disparities, it is unclear that cohesion policy has altered the pathway of development from what would have occurred in the absence of intervention. This article draws on geographical economics, institutionalist social science and endogenous growth theory, with the aim of providing a fresh look at cohesion policy. By highlighting a complex set of potential trade-offs and interrelations – overall growth and efficiency; inter-territorial equity; territorial democracy and governance capacities; and social equity within places – it revisits the rationale of cohesion policy, with particular attention to the geographical dynamics of economic development.