By Hideaki Hirata, M. Ayhan Kose and Christopher Otrok, 2013


Both global and regional economic linkages have strengthened substantially over the past quarter century. We employ a dynamic factor model to analyze the implications of these linkages for the evolution of global and regional business cycles. Our model allows us to assess the roles played by the global, regional, and country-specific factors in explaining business cycles in a large sample of countries and regions over the period 1960–2010. We find that, since the mid-1980s, the importance of regional factors has increased markedly in explaining business cycles especially in regions that experienced a sharp growth in intra-regional trade and financial flows. By contrast, the relative importance of the global factor has declined over the same period. In short, the recent era of globalization has witnessed the emergence of regional business cycles.

Andrea Ascani, Riccardo Crescenzi, Simona Iammarino, 2012


This review offers an analysis of the main concepts explored in the regional and local economic development literature. We start by explaining the rationale for a regional approach to development in a context of growing internationalisation of the world economy. Therefore, the relevance of local social and institutional characteristics is discussed by arguing that favourable conditions for development are the result of a highly context specific combination of rules, norms and social relations which encourage and facilitate knowledge diffusion and exploitation mostly on a localised basis. In this respect, some evidence is provided about the emergence of spatial inequalities connected to the localised nature of development processes and innovative activities. We then discuss the importance of a bottom-up approach to economic development emerging from the frequent ineffectiveness of top-down policies employed to spur regional development. Finally, we argue that the increasing demand for decentralisation of powers and resources from central governments to regional and local administrations in most parts of the world in the last decades can be interpreted as the acknowledgement that regional forces and characteristics are strongly relevant in shaping local development trajectories in a context of increasing globalisation. In this framework, therefore, decentralisation represents the capacity of heterogeneous regions and territories to tailor specific development strategies in order to address their particular needs and influence their own destinies.

By Arjan H. Schakel & Emanuele Massetti, 2018


This article aims to explain longitudinal and cross-sectional variation in regional government composition – oversized majorities and incongruence between regional and national governments (cross-cutting) – and regional government alternation. The analysis focuses on the explanatory value of a wide range of regional-level institutional variables, such as majoritarian vs. proportional voting systems and established practices of consociationalism. In addition, it provides a tentative exploration of the impact of regional (i.e. non-state-wide) parties on government composition and alternation. The findings show that most institutional variables have the expected impact, e.g., majoritarian voting systems increase government alternation and consensual practices decrease both crosscutting and alternation. The analysis also suggests that regional parties impact on government composition and alternation in two ways. Strong regional parties increase cross-cutting and, once in office, they tend to reduce alternation. Smaller regional parties out of office tend to increase alternation and to decrease oversized government as their seat shares grow.

By Schneider, A., 2003


Decentralized government institutions are doing more of the work of government than ever before, but there is little agreement about 1) what decentralization means, or 2) how it should be measured. To overcome this confusion, this article builds on standard definitions of decentralization that include three core dimensions: fiscal, administrative, and political. The article offers an empirical test of that definition using factor analysis of data from 1996 for sixty-eight countries. Factor analysis confirms these three core dimensions and generates a score for each case in each dimension, allowing countries to be measured according to their type and degree of decentralization. In future work, these scores can be used for hypothesis testing about the causes and effects of decentralization on important social outcomes. This exercise demonstrates that conceptual confusion need not hamper research when empirical tests can help verify conceptual categories.