Spatial structure and productivity in European regions

Wessel Ouwehand, Frank van Oort & Nicola Cortinovis, in Regional Studies (2021). Open Access. Through an analysis of total factor productivity for European regions using an econometric identification strategy, we find that significant impacts exist for both urban size and structure. A larger urban size positively affects regional productivity. Polycentric urban structures have no directly identified impacts on productivity. We find that an interaction between urban size and polycentricity has a negative effect, suggesting that polycentric regions are unable to substitute for the economic urbanization externalities associated with a single large city. These findings have important implications for the European Union-wide policy agenda on urban development and regional productivity.

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