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Since the 1980s, many countries across the world have been experiencing “regiona


Since the 1980s, many countries across the world have been experiencing “regional divergence,” which has seen successful global cities and their surrounding metropoli- tan regions (e.g. Greater London, the Parisian Ile-de-France, or the Boston-New York-Washington DC urban corridor) experiencing faster GDP growth than less economically-successful regions in their own countries (e.g. northern England, east- ern France, or the American Midwest). Arguably, this has led to greater levels of economic frustration and resentment between “core” and “periphery” zones – contributing to various forms of political backlash, and incentivising governments to consider a renewed set of policy measures that can deliver balanced growth. Aware of this issue, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are preparing a new 2021 global report, provisionally entitled Overcoming the Regional Divide. In this report, they plan to include chapters on each of the countries for which they provide data, detailing differences over time and by region and measures that might assist in reducing spatial inequality. The report team have provided you with a dataset of regional differences in eco- nomic outcomes across their member countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia, as well as selected other countries for which they have gathered comparable data, which additionally includes China, India, South Africa, Turkey, Mexico and Brazil. Select one of the countries in this dataset, and produce a 2,000 word background paper for that one individual country, detailing how regional inequality has changed over the past two decades and what measures might be undertaken in order to bring the regional inequality gap lower. As this is a background paper, rather than draft of the actual chapter of their final report,* you may also include analysis of data from other countries as a means of justifying the measures you propose, even though a more detailed analysis of other countries is likely to appear in other chapters of their final publication.