By Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2017


Persistent poverty, economic decay, and lack of opportunities are at the root of considerable discontent in declining and lagging-behind areas the world over. Poor development prospects and an increasing belief that these places have ‘no future’ – as economic dynamism has been posited to be increasingly dependent on agglomeration economies – have led many of these so-called ‘places that don’t matter’ to revolt against the status quo. The revolt has come via an unexpected source: the ballot-box in a wave of political populism with strong territorial, rather than social foundations. I will argue that the populist wave is challenging the sources of existing well-being in both the less-dynamic and the more prosperous areas and that better, rather than more, place-sensitive territorial development policies are needed in order to find a solution to the problem. Place-sensitive development policies need, however, to stay clear of the welfare, income-support, and big investment projects of past development strategies if they are to be successful and focus on tapping into untapped potential and on providing opportunities to those people living in the places that ‘don’t matter’.

By Anke Matuschewski, Birgit Leick and Marcel Demuth, 2016


This article aims to critically assess the economic growth paradigm, which typically underlies most approaches to regional policymaking for demographic change. While population losses, ageing and outmigration – i.e. phenomena that are addressed as demographic change – have become a matter of urgency for many European regions, most regional economic development theories remain silent about the population decline affecting the economic growth and development prospects of regions. Consequently, regional policies usually rely on the concept of economic growth, yet neglect the complexity and importance of demographic change and how it relates to the economic sphere. Due to this lack in nuance, we argue that regional policymaking fails to design adequate policy support for regions facing persistent demographic change and economic stagnation or decline as a result. Based on these observations, the paper examines a selection of regional economic development theories in search for alternative concepts of growth and development in the context of demographic change. To this aim, globalisation peripheries are introduced as a fruitful conceptual point of reference and, in combination with endogenous regional development theories, discussed as an alternative approach for regional policymaking.

By Deepa Narayan, et al., 2000 (World Bank)


Our book is about the common patterns that emerged from poor people's experiences in many different places. As we moved more deeply into analyses of poor people's experiences with poverty, we were struck repeatedly by the paradox of the location and social group specificity of poverty, and yet the commonality of the human experience of poverty across countries. From Georgia to Brazil, from Nigeria to the Philippines, similar underlying themes emerged: hunger, deprivation, powerlessness, violation of dignity, social isolation, resilience, resourcefulness, solidarity, state corruption, rudeness of service providers, and gender inequity.

By Surajeet Chakravarty and Miguel A. Fonseca, 2014


We study the role of social identity in determining the impact of social fragmentation on public good provision using laboratory experiments. We find that as long as there is some degree of social fragmentation, increasing it leads to lower public good provision by majority group members. This is mainly because the share of those in the majority group who contribute fully to the public good diminishes with social fragmentation, while the share of free-riders is unchanged. This suggests social identity preferences drive our result, as opposed to self-interest. Importantly, we find no difference in contribution between homogeneous and maximally-fragmented treatments, reinforcing our finding that majority groups contribute most in the presence of some diversity.