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Economy is hamstrung if only some regions grow

National policy must build on specific local features

Economists and policymakers seem to have a blind spot when thinking about how the economy functions and what determines success. Analytical frameworks and government policies consistently neglect the role of space and geography in favour of national averages and sectoral plans. Yet growing evidence from around the world shows the importance of place and location for productivity, growth and development.

Intuitively, it is obvious that economic progress depends on the quality of local skills, capable public institutions, reliable infrastructure, and proximity to markets and suppliers. But just how important are these factors?..

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