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CEP discussion paper
Place-based policies and spatial disparities across European cities
Maximilian v. Ehrlich and Henry G. Overman
October 2020
Paper No' CEPDP1726:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: R11; R12; R13

Tags: place based policy; cities; european union

Spatial disparities in income levels and worklessness in the European Union are profound, persistent and may be widening. We describe disparities across metropolitan regions and discuss theories and empirical evidence that help us understand what causes these disparities. Increases in the productivity benefits of cities, the clustering of highly educated workers and increases in their wage premium all play a role. Europe has a long-standing tradition of using capital subsidies, enterprise zones, transport investments and other place-based policies to address these disparities. The evidence suggests these policies may have partially offset increasing disparities but are not sufficient to fully offset the economic forces at work.