Regional Policy in the Spotlight

WIFO-Extern with Jens Südekum from the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf
Based on data for Germany, Jens Südekum gave a lecture on 15 May 2019 in WIFO-Extern on "Regional policy in times of globalisation, digitatisation and increasing urban-rural disparities". Südekum is professor at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf and member of the International Board of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research.

Urbanisation trends are not only observed in the USA, but also in Europe. This leads to a concentration of highly qualified workers and top companies in cities. This is the origin of an increasing urban-rural divide. Large wage disparities between regions can be found worldwide and these can be further aggravated by digitisation processes. Südekum identified "assortative matching" of highly qualified workers and companies in large cities as a central driver of this development. A promising strategy to reduce spatial wage disparities is the improvement of matching in small cities, as well as the strengthening of educational provision.

In his commentary on the lecture, WIFO economist Matthias Firgo added regional policy approaches on the basis of current WIFO studies on the disparities between urban and rural regions in Austria to Südekum's remarks.

Jens Suedekum is Professor of International Economics at the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at Heinrich-Heine-University and member of the International Board of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO). He is a specialist on global trade, digitisation and labour markets and published widely in leading academic peer-reviewed journals. According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Jens is among the most influential economists in the German-speaking world.