Endogenous Regional Development

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingEntry in encyclopedia


Endogenous regional development (ERD) is a concept and strategy for the economic development of regions both in advanced and developing countries. It has been stated as a counter-thesis to regional development driven mainly by external actors and factors. Core ideas and elements are the understanding of development as a bottom-up process, suggesting a key role of regional actors and initiatives as well as of social agents and civil society, as well as a high importance of regional institutions, policy competences, and decision-making functions. It is an integrated approach taking account of economic and social interdependencies, and it emphasizes a sustainable use of natural and other resources. Endogenous regional development was inspired by theories of economic development, evolutionary economics, innovation, and learning theories. It has been further developed in different variants such as bottom-up development, regional learning, regional innovation systems and place-based development. These latter approaches partly differ from ERD, but they also share many elements relating them to the endogenous regional development approach. Such common elements are the search for regional specificities, uniqueness, and identity as a source of competitive advantages; a high importance of regional institutions, social capital, and networks; a key role of entrepreneurship and innovation. They share the view that despite strong tendencies of globalization and the use of modern information and communication technologies, learning and innovation remain to a high degree territorially embedded processes, based on tacit knowledge and its exchange, and on a specific setting of local, regional and national institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography 2nd edition
Editors Audrey Kobayashi
Place of PublicationOxford
ISBN (Print)9780081022955
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 507023 Location development
  • 502039 Structural policy
  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 507011 Spatial research
  • 507014 Regional development
  • 507
  • 507016 Regional economy

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