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Industrial Structure and Economic Resilience of Non-Metropolitan Regions: An Empirical Base for the Smart Specialization Policies

Jan Ženka (), Marcela Chreneková (), Lucie Kokešová () and Veronika Svetlíková ()
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Jan Ženka: Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava, 71000 Ostrava, Czech Republic
Marcela Chreneková: Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, 94976 Nitra, Slovakia
Lucie Kokešová: Department of Human Geography and Regional Development, University of Ostrava, 71000 Ostrava, Czech Republic
Veronika Svetlíková: Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, 94976 Nitra, Slovakia

Land, 2021, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-21

Abstract: In this paper, we aim to describe and explain the regional disparities in economic resilience in Slovakia in the period 1997–2017. We focus on the effects of economic structure in combination with the vertical (potential accessibility) and horizontal geographical location. Since the early 1990s, Slovak (non-)metropolitan regions exhibited deep changes in the sectoral structure of the economy that were followed by sharp unemployment increases. Due to the FDI-fueled economic growth in the last two decades, however, considerable progress in regional economic growth and reduction in unemployment was recorded. Therefore, Slovak non-metropolitan regions provide valuable lessons for the analysis of regional economic resilience in a long-term period. We ask if, and to what extent were, the prospects of regional renewal after economic crises associated with the geographical location, economic diversity, firm size and sectoral structure of the economy. We employed spatial regression models to test the effects of the potential accessibility, horizontal geographical location and industrial diversity, and sectoral (agriculture, manufacturing) and firm size structure. The dependent variable, Economic Resilience, was measured by the Regional Development Index, combining the indicators of demographic ageing, net migration, income per capita and registered unemployment rate. Potential accessibility and horizontal geographical location were the key predictors of regional economic resilience. Districts with tertiarized and diversified industrial and firm size structures scored, on average, higher in RDI than specialized districts with large firms and/or a high share of agriculture/manufacturing in total employment.

Keywords: non-metropolitan regions; rural regions; economic resilience; smart specialization; industrial structure; Slovakia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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