Local economic development

Anno accademico 2018/2019 - 1° anno
Docente: Gianpiero Torrisi
Crediti: 9
SSD: SECS-P/06 - Economia Applicata
Organizzazione didattica: 225 ore d'impegno totale, 165 di studio individuale, 60 di lezione frontale

Obiettivi formativi

Knowledge and understanding: knowledge and understanding of the main theories related to regional and local economic analysis. To be able to understand the underlying concept and application of tools (such as multipliers) to evaluate regional and local economic performance. To have a clear understanding of regional and local economic problems.

Applying knowledge and understanding: to be familiar with the sources of regional and local economic data including database resources and being skilled in using simple analytical tools to interpret large data sets in order to show disparities between different areas.

Making judgments: to be able to critically evaluate and discuss the main theories used in the study of the regional and local economy and the reasons and results of the application of policies in order to alleviate regional economic problems.

Communication skills: to be able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of a local economy in a clear and professional way through a detailed written report.

Learning skills: to be able to identify and explain the functioning and discuss the motivations for the use of particular prescriptions and political tools to try to alleviate local and regional economic problems. To be familiar with the results of applying policy requirements and how analysis of these has helped shape future policy.

Modalità di svolgimento dell'insegnamento

This unit is held entirely in English. The teaching style of this unit encourages student participation: scheduled events include lectures, seminars and workshop activities. These are designed so that the student can practice some of the techniques that have been shown during lectures in order to promote experiential learning and to develop the knowledge and understanding skills.

Prerequisiti richiesti

Although no prerequisite requirement is currently set for this unit, a basic knowledge of both microeconomics and macroeconomics represents de facto prerequisites.

Frequenza lezioni

The attendance is strongly encouraged. The unit adopts an experiential learning approach, therefore, regular attendance is fundamental during the learning journey.

Contenuti del corso

(1) Introduction to course, the importance of the local economy and the case for regional policy; (2) How we measure the local economy – profiles, multipliers and models; (3) Why economies grow - Economic growth models both Classical and Keynesian; (4) The business perspective – industrial location theory, innovation and other drivers of regional trade; (5) The local and regional labour market – quality of human capital, migration and unemployment; (6) Regional policy and its effectiveness in major OECD countries; (7) Regional policy changes from 1979 and the emergence of EU regional policy; (8) Trade-off and synergies in the EU regional policy; (9) EU policies to build smart cities; (10) Regional resilience; (11) Smart cities and resilience.

Testi di riferimento

a) Armstrong H & Taylor J (2000) Regional Economics and Policy(3rd edition) Oxford: Blackwell.


Alternative textbooks are:

b) McCann, P. (2013). Modern urban and regional economics. Oxford University Press.

c) Capello, R. (2015). Regional economics. Routledge.

d) Pike, A., Rodriguez-Pose, A., Tomaney, J. (2010). Handbook of Local and Regional Development. Routledge, 2010

Programmazione del corso

 ArgomentiRiferimenti testi
1Introduction and overview: Background to local and regional analysis, profiling the local economyIntroduction to Part I  
2Multipliers and models: the input-output approach to modelling the regional economyChapters 1 & 2  
3Regional growth - the neoclassical perspective: Export demand models - agglomeration and cumulative growthChapters 3 & 4  
4Industrial location theory: Innovation and interregional trade theoryChapter 5 
5The local and regional labour market: quality of human capital; interregional migration; unemployment and hidden unemploymentChapters 6 & 7 
6The case for regional policy: Some evidence of the causes of economic disadvantageChapter 6, pp 143 – 153 & Chapter 7, pp 184 - 199 and Chapter 8, pp 205 – 231  
7The interventionist years: Regional policy and its effectiveness in OECD countries during the 1960’s/70’sChapter 9, pp 232 – 258; Spadavecchia, A. (2007). Regional and National Industrial Policies in Italy, 1950s–1993. Where did the Subsidies Flow.Working Paper Series. University of Reading (UK). 
8A return to classical prescriptions: the EU as a major player in regional developmentChapters 9 & 10 
9Trade-off and synergies in the EU regional policyCrescenzi, R., De Filippis, F., & Pierangeli, F. (2015). In tandem for cohesion? Synergies and conflicts between regional and agricultural policies of the European Union. Regional Studies, 49(4), 681-704.  
10Trade-off and synergies in the EU regional policy (part. II)Collins, A., Leonard, A., Cox, A., Greco, S., & Torrisi, G. (2017). Report on the synergies between EU Cohesion Policy and rural development policies. 
11EU policies to build smart citiesCollins, A., Leonard, A., Cox, A., Greco, S., & Torrisi, G. (2017). Report on Urban policies for building smart cities. 
12Regional resilienceMartin, R. (2011). Regional economic resilience, hysteresis and recessionary shocks. Journal of economic geography, 12(1), 1-32. 
13Regional resilience (in Italy): a GDP approachCellini, R., & Torrisi, G. (2014). Regional resilience in Italy: a very long-run analysis. Regional Studies, 48(11), 1779-1796. 
14Regional resilience (in Italy): adding unemployment Cellini, R., Di Caro, P., & Torrisi, G. (2017). 14. Regional resilience in Italy: do employment and income tell the same story. Handbook of Regions and Competitiveness: Contemporary Theories and Perspectives on Economic Development, 308. 
15Smart cities and resilienceCollins, A., Leonard, A., Cox, A., Greco, S., & Torrisi, G. (2017). PERCEIVE Deliverable 4.3 Report on Smart Cities and Resilience 

Verifica dell'apprendimento

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

This unit is assessed by means of two pieces of assessment: a report and an oral exam. The former consists in a 3000-words report which examines the competitive strengths and weaknesses of a local economy relative to other similar economies, its regional economy and the national economy.

The analysis is expected to be concentrated on the competitive aspects of the local and regional economy, including output, entrepreneurship, skills and qualifications as well as the downsides such as unemployment, deprivation, derelict land and congestion. The report should also give descriptive details of the location of the area, explanations about the sources of data used, how these have been analysed and the outcomes of the analysis. It is expected that the report will use tables and graphs to illustrate the work.This assessment addresses all learning outcomes.

You have to submit the report via STUDIUM (studium.unict.it) at least one week in advance with respect to the official exam date you wish to sit.

During the oral exam, each student will have the opportunity to discuss her/his own report and will be invited to answer open-ended questions. The report and the oral exam will be weighted equally. The report will be assessed according to the following criteria: general presentation, grammar, vocabulary, text building, critical thinking, and use of ICT resources. The oral exam will assess the relevance of the answers with respect to the question, its content, the ability to create proper links to additional topics, the ability to report examples, the use of proper technical language, and the overall communication skills.

Esempi di domande e/o esercizi frequenti

What is a regional or local economy? - What are the features of a Regional/local economy? - How do we analyse the Regional/local economy? - Input-output analysis – What is a multiplier? - Regional Growth: the Neo-classical perspective - Interregional migration – What is a smart city? – What is regional resilience?