Regional Economic Resilience: European Experiences and Policy Issues


  • Rüdiger Wink Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig, Gustav-Freytag-Straße 42A, 04277, Leipzig, Deutschland



Regional economic resilience, Evolutionary economic geography, Multilevel governance


This introductory paper looks at recent debates on the concept of regional economic resilience and focuses on three elements of debate: (1) indicator systems and consideration of the normative content of the concept; (2) the evolutionary dimension of the concept and its inter-disciplinary linkages; (3) the policy dimension and challenges for the development of policy recommendations. The author discusses the state of the debate and presents some directions for future research priorities.


Download data is not yet available.


AWM Strategy Team (2010): Community Economic Resilience Index. Birmingham.

Bachtler, J.; Mendez, C. (2007): Who governs EU cohesion policy? Deconstructing the reforms of the structural funds. In: Journal of Common Market Studies 45 (3), 535–564.

Bathelt, H.; Munro, A.K.; Spigel, B. (2013): Challenges of Transformation: Innovation, Re-bundling and Traditional Manufacturing in Canada’s Technology Triangle. In: Regional Studies 47 (7), 1111–1130.

Bijker, W.E. (2006): The vulnerability of technological culture. In: Novotny, H. (ed.): Cultures of technology and the quest for innovation. New York, 52–69.

Blanchard, O.; Wolfers, J. (2000): The role of shocks and institutions in the rise of European unemployment: the aggregate evidence. In: The Economic Journal 110 (462), C1–C33.

Boschma, R.; Frenken, K. (2011): The emerging empirics in evolutionary economic geography. Utrecht. = Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography 1101.

Boschma, R.; Balland, P.-A.; Kogler, D.F. (2013): Relatedness and technological change in cities: The rise and fall of technological knowledge in US metropolitan areas from 1981 to 2010. Utrecht.

Bristow, G. (2010): Resilient regions: re-‘place’ing regional competitiveness. In: Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 3 (1), 153–167.

Bünstorf, G.; Klepper, S. (2010): Submarket dynamics and innovation: The case of the U.S. tire industry. In: Industrial and Corporate Change 19 (5), 1563–1587.

Castaldi, C.; Frenken, K.; Los, B. (2013): Related variety, unrelated variety and technological breakthroughs: An analysis of U.S. state-level patenting. Utrecht. = Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography 1302.

Cerra, V.; Panizza, U.; Saxena, S.C. (2013): International evidence on recovery from recessions. In: Contemporary Economic Policy 31 (2), 424–439.

Christmann, G.; Ibert, O.; Kilper, H.; Moss, T. (2012): Vulnerability and resilience from a socio-spatial perspective. Towards a theoretical framework. Erkner. = IRS Working Paper 45.

Christopherson, S. (2011): Riding the small wave in manufacturing to more good jobs and a more diverse economy. Berkeley.

Christopherson, S.; Michie, J.; Tyler, P. (2010): Regional Resilience: Theoretical and empirical perspectives. In: Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 3 (1), 3–10.

CLES – Centre for Local Economic Strategies (2010): Productive local economies: creating resilient places. Manchester.

Coaffee, J. (2013): Towards next-generation urban resilience in planning practice: from securitization to integrated place making. In: Planning Practice and Research 28 (3), 323–339.

Conzelmann, T. (2008): A New Mode of Governing? Multi-level Governance between Cooperation and Conflict. In: Conzelmann, T.; Smith, R. (eds.): Multi-level Governance in the European Union. Taking Stock and Looking Ahead. Baden-Baden, 11–30.

Cooke, P. (2012): Complex adaptive innovation systems: Relatedness and transversality in the evolving region. London.

Cooke, P.; de Propris, L. (2011): A policy agenda for EU smart growth: the role of creative and cultural industries. In: Policy Studies 32 (4), 365–375.

Crespo, J.; Suire, R.; Vicente, J. (2013): Lock-in or lock-out? How structural properties of knowledge networks affect regional resilience. Toulouse.

Cross, R.; Grinfeld, M.; Lamba, H. (2009): Hysteresis and Economics. In: Control Systems 29 (1), 30–43.

Davies, S. (2011): Regional resilience in the 2008–2010 downturn: comparative evidence from European countries. In: Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 4 (3), 369–382.

Dawley, S.; Marshall, N.; Pike, A.; Pollard, J.; Tomaney, J. (2013): Continuity and evolution in an old industrial region: The labour market dynamics of the rise and fall of Northern Rock. In: Regional Studies. doi:10.1080/00343404.2012.669473.

Diodato, D.; Weterings, A. (2012): The resilience of Dutch regions to economic shocks. Measuring the relevance of interactions among firms and workers. Utrecht. = Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography 1215.

Dopfer, K.; Foster, J.; Potts, J. (2004): Micro-meso-macro. In: Journal of Evolutionary Economics 14 (3), 263–279.

Dopfer, K.; Potts, J. (2008): The General Theory of Economic Evolution. London, New York.

Duval, R.; Elmeskov, J.; Vogel, L. (2007): Structural policies and economic resilience to shocks. Paris. = OECD Working Paper 567.

Eichengreen, B.; Bordo, M.D. (2002): Crises now and then. What lessons from the last era of financial globalization. Cambridge. = NBER Working Paper 8716.

Ekosgen (2011): Strengthening local economies. The index of economic resilience 2011. Final Report for Yorkshire Cities. Newcastle.

European Union (2011): TA 2020– Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020: Towards an inclusive, smart and sustainable Europe of diverse regions. Agreed at the Informal Ministerial Meeting of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and territorial development. Brussels.

Experian (2012): Understanding resilience. Local economic partnerships. Nottingham.

Fingleton, B.; Garretsen, H.; Martin, R. (2012): Recessionary shocks and regional employment: evidence on the resilience of UK regions. In: Journal of Regional Science 52 (1), 109–133.

Folke, C. (2006): Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses. In: Global Environmental Change 16 (3), 253–267.

Foray, D.; David, P.A.; Hall, B. (2009): Smart specialisation: The concept. Brussels. = Knowledge Economists Policy Brief no. 9.

Frenken, K.; van Oort, F.G.; Verburg, T. (2007): Related variety, unrelated variety and regional economic growth. In: Regional Studies 41 (5), 685–697.

Göcke, M. (2002): Various Concepts of Hysteresis Applied in Economics. In: Journal of Economic Surveys 16 (2), 167–188.

Göcke, M. (2009): Firing versus continuing employment if an economic setback is expected. Marburg. = MAGKS Working Paper 18–2009.

Gunderson, L.H.; Holling, C.S. (2002): Panarchy. Understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Washington, DC.

Hassink, R. (2009): Locked in decline? On the role of regional lock-ins in old industrial areas. In: Boschma, R.; Martin, R. (eds.): The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography. Cheltenham, 450–468.

Hervas-Oliver, J-L., Jackson, I.; Tomlinson, P.R. (2011): ‘May the ovens never grow cold’: regional resilience and industrial policy in the North Staffordshire ceramics industrial district – with lessons from Sassoulo and Castellon. In: Policy Studies 32 (4), 377–395.

Herzog-Stein, A.; Horn, G.A.; Stein, U. (2013): Macroeconomic implications of the German short-time work policy during the great recession. In: Global Policy 4 (1), 30–40.

Hill, E.; St. Clair, T.; Wial, H.; Wolman, H.; Atkins, P.; Blumenthal, P.; Ficenec, S.; Friedhoff, A. (2011): Economic shocks and regional economic resilience. Berkeley.

Holling, C.S. (2001): Understanding the complexity of economic, ecological, and social systems. In: Ecosystems 4 (5), 390–405.

Holm, J.R.; Ostergaard, C.R. (2010): Sources of regional resilience in the Danish ICT sector. Copenhagen. = DRUID Working Paper 10–28.

Jansen, M.A.; Ostrom, E. (2006): Resilience, vulnerability, and adaptation: A cross-cutting theme of the International Human Dimension Programme on Global Environmental Change. In: Global Environmental Change 16 (3), 237–239.

Karanikolos, M.; Mladovsky, P.; Cylus, J.; Thomson, S.; Basu, S.; Stuckler, D.; Mackenbach, J.P.; McKee, M. (2013): Financial crisis, austerity, and health in Europe. In: The Lancet 381 (9874), 1323–1331.

Lang, T. (2011): Urban resilience and new institutional theory – a happy couple for urban and regional studies? In: Müller, B. (ed.): Urban Regional Resilience: How do Cities and Regions Deal with Change? Berlin, 15–22. = German Annual of Spatial Research and Policy 2010.

Lichtblau, K.; Demary, M.; Schmitz, E. (2010): Lehren einer Krise. Die Sicht des Maschinenbaus. Köln.

Lucini, B. (2013): Social capital and sociological resilience in megacities context. In: International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment 4 (1), 58–71.

Lukesch, R.; Payer, H.; Winkler-Rieder, W. (2011): Wie gehen Regionen mit Krisen um? Eine explorative Studie über die Resilienz von Regionen. Fehring.

MacKinnon, D.; Driscoll Derickson, K. (2013): From resilience to resourcefulness: A critique of resilience policy and activism. In: Progress in Human Geography 37 (2), 253–270.

Maisonnave, H.; Pycroft, J.; Saveyn, B.; Ciscar, J.-C. (2012): Does climate policy make the EU economy more resilient to oil price rises? A CGE analysis In: Energy Policy 47, 172–179.

Martin, R. (2012): Regional economic resilience, hysteresis and recessionary shocks. In: Journal of Economic Geography 12 (1), 1–32.

Martin, R.; Sunley, P. (2006): Path dependence and regional economic evolution. In: Journal of Economic Geography 6 (4), 395–437.

Martin, R.; Sunley, P. (2007): Complexity thinking and evolutionary economic geography. In: Journal of Economic Geography 7 (5), 573–601.

Martin, R.; Sunley, P. (2011): Conceptualising cluster evolution: beyond the life-cycle model? Utrecht. = Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography 1215.

McCann, P.; Ortega-Argiles, R. (2013): Smart specialization, regional growth and applications to European Union cohesion policies. In: Regional Studies. doi:10.1080/00343404.2013.799769.

Pestel Institut (2010): Regionale Krisenfestigkeit. Eine indikatorengestützte Bestandsaufnahme auf der Ebene der Kreise und kreisfreien Städte. Hannover.

Raurich, X.; Sala, H.; Sorolla, V. (2006): Unemployment, growth, and fiscal policy: new insights on the hysteresis hypothesis. In: Macroeconomic Dynamics 10 (3), 285–316.

Rodrik, D. (1998): Where did all the growth go? External shocks, social conflict, and growth collapses. Cambridge. = NBER Working Paper 6350.

Rose, A.; Liao, S.-Y. (2005): Modeling regional economic resilience to disasters: A computable general equilibrium analysis of water service disruptions. In: Journal of Regional Science 45 (1), 75–112.

Schneidewind, U. (2013): Wachstumswende als Chance? Innovationen für regionale Innovationen. Mimeo. Wuppertal.

Schröder, H. (2011): Application possibilities of the micro-meso-macro framework in economic geography. Utrecht. = Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography 1115.

Seery, M.D.; Holman, E.A.; Silver, R.C. (2010): Whatever does not kill us: Cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience. In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 99 (6), 1025–1041.

Simmie, J.; Martin, R. (2010): The economic resilience of regions: towards an evolutionary approach. In: Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 3 (1), 27–43.

Swanstrom, T.; Chapple, K.; Immergluck, D. (2009): Regional resilience in the face of foreclosures: evidence from six metropolitan areas. Berkeley. = University of California, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Working Paper 2009–05.

Sydow, J.; Schreyögg, G.; Koch, J. (2009): Organizational path dependence: opening the black box. In: Academy of Management Review 34 (4), 689–709.

Timmermans, B.; Boschma, R. (2013): The effect of intra- and inter-regional labour mobility on plant performance in Denmark: the significance of related labour inflows. In: Journal of Economic Geography. doi:10.1093/jeg/lbs059.

UK Cabinet Office (2011): Strategic national framework on community resilience. London.

Vergne, J.-P.; Durand, R. (2010): The missing link between the theory and empirics of path dependence: conceptual clarification, testability issue, and methodological implications. In: Journal of Management Studies 47 (4), 736–759.

Wink, R. (2013): Institutional evolutionary processes and regional economic resilience. Mimeo. Leipzig.






Research Article

How to Cite

Wink R. Regional Economic Resilience: European Experiences and Policy Issues. RuR [Internet]. 2014 Apr. 30 [cited 2024 Jul. 19];72(2):85–91. Available from: