By Leonid V. Azarnert, 2010


I show how the influences of unskilled immigration, differential fertility between immigrants and the local indigenous population, and incentives for investment in human capital combine to predict the decline of the West. In particular, indigenous low-skilled workers lose from unskilled immigration even if the indigenous low-skilled workers do not finance redistribution, do not compete with immigrants in the labor market, and do not compete with immigrants for publicly financed income transfers. For the economy at large, high-fertility unskilled immigrants and a low-fertility indigenous population result in economic decline through reduced human capital accumulation and reduced growth of per-capita output.

By Rūta Ubarevičienė and Maarten van Ham, 2016


Since the 1990s, Lithuania lost almost a quarter of its population, and some regions within the country lost more than 50% of their residents. Such a sharp population decline poses major challenges to politicians, policy makers and planners. This study aims to get more insight into the recent processes of socio-spatial change and the role of selective migration in Lithuania. The main focus is on understanding who lives in those regions which are rapidly losing population, and who is most likely to leave these regions. This is one of the first studies to use individual level Lithuanian census data from 2001 and 2011. We found that low socio-economic status residents and older residents dominate the population of shrinking regions, and unsurprisingly we found that the most “successful” people are the most likely to leave such regions. This process of selective migration reinforces the negative downward spiral of declining regions. As a result, socio-spatial polarisation is growing within the country, where people with higher socio-economic status are increasingly overrepresented in the largest city-regions, while the elderly and residents with a lower socioeconomic status are
overrepresented in declining rural regions. This paper provides empirical evidence of selective migration and increasing regional disparities in Lithuania. While the socio-spatial changes are obvious in Lithuania, there is no clear strategy on how to cope with extreme population decline and increasing regional inequalities within the country.

By Patrick Kline and Enrico Moretti, 2013


Most countries exhibit large and persistent geographical differences in wages, income and unemployment rates. A growing class of \place based" policies attempt to address these differences through public investments and subsidies that target disadvantaged neighborhoods, cities or regions. Place based policies have the potential to profoundly affect the location of economic activity, along with the wages, employment, and industry mix of communities. These programs are widespread in the U.S. and throughout the world, but have only recently been studied closely by economists. We consider the following questions: Who bene ts from place based interventions? Do the national bene ts outweigh the costs? What sorts of interventions are most likely to be effective? To study these questions, we develop a simple spatial equilibrium model designed to characterize the welfare effects of place based policies on the local and the national economy. Using this model, we critically evaluate the economic rationales for place based policies and assess the latest evidence on their effects. We conclude with some lessons for policy and directions for future research.

By Elisabeth Gruber, Alois Humer and Heinz Fassmann, 2015


The Austrian population is growing, but not every region is profiting from a positive migration balance, which is the main driver for population change. Especially peripheries are suffering from constant population loss followed by cuts in infrastructure and service provision when the critical mass is not reached anymore. A decline of investments is already taking place according services and infrastructures – from the private side, as well as from the public side: schools, post offices, police stations, public transport lines, retail stores and other services of general interest have been stepwise reduced in many peripheral areas. In a response to the ongoing depletion of mainly rural or formerly industrial areas the - foremost local - political side keeps on introducing growth strategies in order to force a turnaround. Given the bunch of available instruments, program logics and chains of habit it is understandably but for some regions a catching up process will most likely not be successful unless the budgets will be constantly overspent. In the following paper we woul therefore like to discuss how strategies on 'advancing backwards' could possibly work out in Austria and who would be public and private stakeholders of which level to get motivated for such ideas? Which planning and development instruments are suitable to accompany 'sustainable decline processes'? The paper will take empirical findings of Gruber et al. (2015) as a starting point. New planning document analyses and stakeholder interviews will further back this paper.