This article presents a simplified model for comparison of the spatial distribution (core-periphery) of economic activity resulting from free market conditions, with the distribution that would lead to a social optimum. It further examines the public policy measures required to lead the economy towards the optimal distribution. Simulations are conducted to illustrate the mechanism of intervention of public policy and to test the feasibility of various measures. An important conclusion is that public investment in the creation of competitive ability in the periphery may provide the solution to market failure and therefore lead to the achievement of a social optimum greater than the free market optimum. Another preliminary conclusion is that public policy should consider a combination of measures (such as improving both regional infrastructure and the quality of the labour force), since focusing on a single measure may not be sufficient to achieve a social optimum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Urban Studies