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WI Institute of Rural Economics

Location factors and regional development

The field location factors and regional development comprises three focal points. The first is the analysis of location conditions and development constraints for various industries and companies. In doing so, we take into account that rural areas differ in terms of their endowment with hard and soft location factors and their interdependencies with metropolitan areas. The second focus is on the dynamic, path-dependent development of regions over time and the long-term regional convergence or divergence within Germany. How individual regions and regional differences develop depends not only on the respective locational conditions but also on the influence of overarching megatrends such as globalization, demographic change, digitalization and the transition to an almost greenhouse gas-neutral economy and lifestyle. For example, we are investigating the consequences of digitization for rural areas with different infrastructural conditions and their companies. The third focus area deals with options for economic policy action. This involves recommendations for action both to improve local location conditions (location policy) and to specifically influence regions of a spatial system (regional policy). A cross-cutting issue is the importance and development of municipal finances.

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