S08 Stampa

Convergence, regional disparities and social cohesion in Europe: how did the financial crises change geography


Barbara Martini, University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy)
Massimo Giannini, University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy)


For a long period of time, economic theory has tried to explain the problem of regional disparities, focusing its attention on the determinants of growth, human capital, on the infrastructures of a given region, (Solow, 1956, Romer, 1986, Lucas, 1988; Aschauer, 1989; Quah, 1990; Barro & Sala i Martin 1991; Temple, 1999). This approach, however, has not been able to explain regional disparities and to identify the most suitable policies to enable a process of convergence in European Regions. As a result, regional disparities are exacerbated, especially after the financial crisis that still  persists.
One of the reasons for the failure of economic models is that the analysis has always been conducted in a-spatial way  focusing on Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of growth.

Probably is important find a new approach in which the concept of growth should be replaced by the concept of development that consider four dimensions: economic, social, environmental and institutional. In this context, the role of geography, with the concepts of territory, territorial, social capital and milieu is particularly relevant.

The a-spatial analysis, conducted by economists should be overcome by an approach that takes the territory as  base of  observation for generate a cohesive and sustainable development. This type of approach, bottom-up, may activate, in the territories of the Union, a process of convergence. The questions to which the session seeks to address are the following:

  • What are the policies to achieve growth rates of homogeneous and reduce differences and regional disparities?
  • The financial crisis has exacerbated these differences?
  • How  geography can contribute to answer these questions?

Read the abstracts

Slot 1
Chair: Barbara Martini

Presentation n. 1
Title: Reforming European Regional Policy: smart specialization strategy
Author(s): Isabella Mozzoni

Presentation n. 2
Title: Multi-level governance, regional governments, and the impact of the Structural Funds: Evidence from European regions
Author(s): Luigi Reggi, Andrea Filippetti

Presentation n. 3
Title: Territorial governance and Social capital as strategic actor
Author(s): Luminita Gabriela Popescu

Presentation n. 4
Title: Social Cohesion, Social Capital and Regional Disparities. How the crises influence the Social Cohesion and the Regional Disparities?
Author(s): Barbara Martini

Poster presentation
Title: Socioeconomic inequalities in health in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (Portugal): magnitude and trends over recent decades
Author(s): Ana Lourenço, Helena Nogueira

Slot 2
Chair: Barbara Martini

Presentation n. 7
Title: Cyprus, the European Union and the recent crisis: inspiration for new processes of convergence or incentive for regional disparities?
Author(s): Simona Epasto

Presentation n. 8
Title: The Emperor's Clothes
Author(s): Robert Mikecz

Presentation n. 9
Title: Restructuring the healt Care Sector-and its transferability to other areas
Author(s): Bärbel Held

Presentation n. 10
Title: Disparities in Poland in the population-settlement domain at the regional and local levels
Author(s): Jan Hauke, Barbara Konecka-Szydlowska

Poster presentation
Title: Growth and Stagnation areas in urbanisation-environmental terms. The Case of Poland: a local dimension
Author(s): Jan Hauke, Barbara Konecka-Szydlowska

Session code: S08