Webinar: Economic Growth in NUTS-3 Regions

The eleventh EPRC webinar of the 2021 was held June 9th (11:00 – 12:00 UK) over Zoom. Austin Kilroy, Senior Economist at The World Bank, and Roberto Ganau, Assistant Professor at the University of Padova, and Research Associate at the London School of Economics, presented on the topic “Detecting Economic Growth Pathways in EU NUTS-3 Lagging Regions”.

Kilroy and Ganau argued that since the European Union’s (EU) creation, it has been confronted with sharp regional inequality and an economic growth conundrum that have interested its territories across-the-board. Despite great political and financial efforts put in place by EU and national institutions over time, slow growth and laggardness at the regional level have been – and still are – key harming factors preventing the achievement of the EU socio-economic cohesion goal.

Drawing from insights of high heterogeneity across NUTS-3 regions in both the response to Cohesion Policy funds, and growth and convergence dynamics, as well as in light of increasing attention put by EU policymakers on small regions for ad hoc development strategies, Kilroy and Ganau have presented their contribution to the scholar and policy debate on the growth pathways across NUTS-3 regions in the entire EU over the period 2003-2017.

They propose a novel taxonomy to identify laggardness in both income levels and long-run growth performance that combines the Cohesion Policy classification with that proposed under the “Catching Up” initiative, but suits the NUTS-3 geographical level. Kilroy and Ganau then rely on this classification to analyse growth determinants across heterogeneous regional profiles.

Their findings suggest that ‘small lagging’ regions are often hidden within larger and more prosperous regions, and that economic growth is associated with different economic dimensions in different types of regions. The NUTS-3 scale of analysis is helpful to inform the design and implementation of development strategies catering to different opportunities at this smaller geographical scale.

Austin Kilroy is a Team Leader and Senior Economist in the Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice of the World Bank Group.  Austin joined the Bank in 2010, and has led lending, analysis, and technical assistance projects in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Currently he coordinates a multi-sector team of 90 people focusing on regional economic development in Eastern Croatia. Other recent projects have been with the European Commission to support municipalities in the Eastern Partnership countries, and technical assistance to South Africa’s National Treasury for city economic development.  He is a main author of the Bank’s report on ‘Competitive Cities for Jobs and Growth’. Before the World Bank, Austin worked in international development and domestic politics in the UK. He earned a PhD in regional and urban economics (2011) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and a MA from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Roberto Ganau is Assistant Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and Management “Marco Fanno” of the University of Padova, where he obtained his Ph.D. in January 2016. He is also Research Associate at the Department of Geography and Environment of the LSE–London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, he worked as ERC Post-Doctoral Researcher at the LSE (June 2016-September 2019), as Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Padova (June 2016-May 2018), and as Teaching and Research Assistant at the Queen Mary University of London (September 2015-May 2016). His research focuses on regional economics, the economics of institutions, and international economics.

Kilroy and Ganau’s presentation can be accessed here, and the recording of the webinar can be viewed on the EPRC’s YouTube page here.

Our webinar series will come back in September, delving on topics of regional policy, development and sustainability.

If you would like to attend, watch out for updates and registrations by following @eprc_eu on Twitter

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