OECD on local economic development policies


The debate and the experiences about local economic development public polices are today rich of different points of view, approaches, and results.

In order to have clearer ideas about what is happening, it is useful to go through a OECD study, named:  A Review of Local Economic and Employment Development Policy Approaches in OECD Countries: Case Studies of Regional Economic Development.

This review is part of a series of reports included in the project carried out by the OECD in collaboration with the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), and it is aimed at providing WAG with a set of policy options and learning models to consider in the design of future development policies and strategies. Other reports regard: Part I - Policy Audits, and Part II - Policy Transferability to Wales. The project was led by Jonathan Potter and Marco Marchese of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme.

This review focuses on conceptual framework, pillars, objectives and delivery arrangements about policies for local economic development in 5 case studies: Pennsylvania (USA), Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), Styria, (Austria), Tuscany (Italy), and Basque Country (Spain).
Although published in 2008, it contains element useful for implementing current public policies. In fact, the conclusions of the case analysis remark:
·     from the point of view of the strategy design guidelines, the importance of using the strategy for signalling the priorities of the regional government; of a bottom-up approach to strategy design (although the same OECD indicates the involved stakeholders do not include representatives of the most vulnerable social groups, and the risk of designing demand-driven policies overlooking the needs of these groups); and the importance of a political leadership for achieving the objective of policy horizontal and vertical coordination
·     from the point of view of the policy content guidelines, the importance of local innovation systems; of business network, in the belief they will generate economies of scale (e.g. joint purchases) and scope (i.e. product specialisation); of upgrading of worker’s skills; of the contribution of the social responsibility to territorial development; and the focus on internationalization.

To learn more

by Vincenzo Milio

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