Regional planning in developing countries, with special reference to Mexico

Garcia-Ortega, Maurilio (1978) Regional planning in developing countries, with special reference to Mexico. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A distinction is made between regional growth and regional development given the wider and more comprehensive scope of the latter. At the present, there is no well defined regional development theory. Those which have been attempted require to be adapted to real features of developing countries. In the Latin American context, this requires a realisation of regional development as a process of structural change where the main spatial patterns are associated with differentials of employment given by external demand and allocation of public infrastructure. The neoclassical models tend to neglect the role of space and the interregional diffusion of innovations and technical progress. Richardson's model of regional growth is more relevant since it includes a measure of concentration and agglomeration economies in terms of urbanisation and incorporates equity considerations. However, the model has not been empirically tested, and lacks adequate considerations of sociopolitical and income distribution aspects. The development of locational theories, combined with regional growth theories gave rise to models of spatial organisation and subsequently polarised development, which, although it has certain weaknesses related to planning implementation and time spans, represents one of the mam foundations for understanding regional development. The centre-periphery model, evolving from models emphasising income inequality, is perhaps the most satisfactory approach to regional development, as it combines the theory of polarised development with income inequality and involves social and political variables such as transmission of innovations and political power relationships. Thus for developing economies, spatial organisation, polarised development and centre-periphery models are more relevant, although they require adaptation to the particular "structural features", especially income distribution, of each country. Given the economic over-concentration in the more economically dynamic Latin American countries, policies for polarised development and decentralisation are essential. In these so called "transitional" countries (Friedman) it is possible to apply national and regional development policies simultaneously without interference in the development process, since the apparent goal conflict between maximisation of national growth rates (sectoral aims) and the reduction of regional income disparities may be solved through a multi- objective behavioural model with the aid of linear programming. This should be combined with a comprehensive and innovative planning approach incorporating regional planning by stages. In assessing the impact of regional policy through cost benefit analysis, equity and efficiency together should be the main consideration. The Mexican economy has experienced one of the highest rates of growth of GNP and GNP per capita among the developing countries. However, this has resulted in highly uneven distribution of population and income at a national and inter-regional level, and also one of the highest rates of inter-regional disequilibria following Williamson's indexes, largely due to the surprising growth of the metropolitan area, whose primacy, although stabilising after 1970, remains among the highest in the world. The evidence supports Friedman's core periphery model beginning second stage i.e. core and 2 peripheral subcores.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: John Parr
Keywords: Area planning & development, Latin American studies
Date of Award: 1978
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1978-73722
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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