Abstract Book - Challenges for the New Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020: An Academic and Policy Debate
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Development and growth theory have improved our understanding of how economies develop in time by identifying key factors driving economic growth. The accumulation of physical capital, human capital and technological progress are often mentioned as the main engines of growth. Together with a favourable business environment, good governance, a well-developed infrastructure and sufficient public health care, they determine the pace at which economies develop.
However, understanding what triggers economic growth at the regional level is particularly challenging due to the lack of reliable data and the complex interaction between the evolution of statistical indicators and observed trends of economic growth. This complexity is also highlighted by the fact that many less developed regions have benefited from high levels of cohesion funding over a long period of time without a significant improvement of their economic situation. This has triggered many questions about the effectiveness of EU cohesion policy.
The objective of our analysis is twofold. First, we carry out a comprehensive statistical analysis on a series of indicators considered to be key drivers of growth such as accessibility, human capital, innovation potential, quality of governance etc. Testing the robustness of statistical indicators is important to avoid oversimplified, unstable or contradictory interpretations at a later stage. Second, on the basis of this preparatory work, we aim to achieve better insights into the effectiveness of Cohesion Policy to foster regional growth.
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