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Regional economics in its 1950s: recent theoretical directions and future challenges


Regional economics has just entered in its 1950s. It is a young discipline compared to other branches of the economy, yet much work has been done in this field. A vast and rich number of theoretical and methodological approaches exists nowadays to incorporate space into logical schemes, laws and models which regulate and interpret the formation of prices, demand, productive capacity, levels of output and development, growth rates, and the distribution of income in conditions of unequal regional endowments of resources. This contribution provides the state of the art in Regional Economics with the aim to highlight the scientific achievements obtained so far and the theoretical and methodological gaps which still need to be filled out. Aspects that run counter to general beliefs emerge by reading the original contributions of wellknown theoreticians, and will be presented. Future challenges will emerge from a critical approach to the milestones achieved so far.

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Correspondence to Roberta Capello.

Additional information

This paper is at the basis of a keynote lecture given at the 46° ERSA Conference, held in Volos, 30 August–3 September 2006.

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Capello, R. Regional economics in its 1950s: recent theoretical directions and future challenges. Ann Reg Sci 42, 747–767 (2008).

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JEL Classification

  • R10
  • R11