People-based versus place-based policies: the 2009 world development report

SOURCE: Local Economy
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): I.Turok
KEYWORDS: DEVELOPMENT, ECONOMIC GROWTH, SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT, URBANISATION
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7436

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Abstract

The World Development Report 'Reshaping Economic Geography' is a bold attempt to set the agenda for spatial economic policy throughout the world. It promises governments a way to tackle uneven development by combining the pursuit of socio-spatial equality with stronger economic growth. This involves increasing density, reducing distance and lowering divisions. The framework is neat and internally consistent, but reducing the complexity of spatial development to a few simple distinctions results in serious omissions and shortcomings. First, the social, environmental and political effects of rapid urbanisation are neglected. Second, the role of local and regional institutions is ignored because of the focus on national institutions. Third, there is undue faith in the ability of trade and market forces to reduce spatial inequalities and a lack of faith in the capabilities of the state to stimulate development.