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Essays on spatial scope of regional economic development in Brazil

Resende, Guilherme Mendes (2012) Essays on spatial scope of regional economic development in Brazil. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The aim of my thesis is to investigate the spatial scope of regional economic growth and regional economic development policy in Brazil. First, it reviews the theoretical background on the spatial scope of economic development and growth literature as well as sets this discussion for the Brazilian context. This part forms the basis for the following empirical investigations. Then, the thesis investigates how the determinants of economic growth in Brazil may have manifested themselves differently on various spatial scales during the period of 1991-2000. The analysis suggests a general framework for addressing multiple spatial scales, spatial autocorrelation, spatial heterogeneity and model uncertainty. The robustness tests identified variables that are simultaneously significant on different spatial scales – higher educational and health capital, and better local infrastructure were related to higher rates of economic growth, although their impact on growth may differ across spatial scales. Next, the thesis investigates the extent of spatial autocorrelation effects in the context of regional economic growth at different spatial scales from 1970-2000 using standard panel data models. Among other results, it shows that spatial autocorrelation appears negligible at the state level but shows positive and significant values at the other three spatial scales. Moreover, the panel data models that control for time invariant fixed effects do not completely eliminate the spatial autocorrelation in the residuals at different spatial scales. Finally, the thesis formulates a framework to measure the micro- and macro - impacts of regional development policies in Brazil and applies this framework to measure the impact of northeast regional fund (FNE) industrial loans on employment and labour productivity growth at the micro (firm) level and on GDP per capita growth at macro (municipalities, micro-regions and spatial clusters) levels for the 2000-2003 and 2000-2006 periods. The results show a positive and statistically significant impact of the FNE industrial loans on job creation at the micro level but no significant impacts on the GDP per capita growth at the macro level.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Guilherme Mendes Resende
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment

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