Impacts of the residential economy on the regional economy
Economic development is influenced by a variety of different factors and is spatially distributed unequally. The economic growth usually focuses on the metropolitan and urban areas, while rural areas in many parts of Europe have to struggle with migration and a loss of jobs. Some, however, mostly peri-urban regions, could record a positive development in recent years. Especially those regions that have healthy demographics, high purchasing power and well developed infrastructure could benefit. The so-called residential economy considers how far strategies to increase the attractiveness as a place of residence for specific target groups can affect economic development in peri-urban and rural areas positively. The term residential economy was coined by the French economist Laurent Davezies. He criticizes the concept of the so called New Economic Geography and argues for treating residential economy as a serious factor for development, emphasizing that mobility, leisure and tourism as well as state income redistribution systems favour the creation of new purchasing power outside metropolitan areas. However - noted that a strategy aimed solely at increasing the attractiveness as a place of residence, yet does not generate sustainable growth - also in the French debate. In the Anglo-Saxon debate the discussion about the residential economy is usually performed under the term 'amenity migration'. Under amenity migration the migration, the movement of people based on the draw of natural and / or cultural amenities is understood. The focus of attention here are mostly retirees, pensioners and second home owners. The immigration of certain groups, such as commuters, retirees, pensioners and second home owners who transfer their residence in the region, while they obtain their income either by the State or outside of the region, has an impact on the regions in different areas. A corresponding supply of living space and infrastructure has to be provided by the region which is connected to costs for the region and has impacts on the development planning and the area consumption. Furthermore socio-cultural and demographic factors play a role which rise the regions to considerable challenges. By encouraging the residential economy it's not only expected to create an attractive offer for the immigrants, but also advantages for the existing native population, such as improvements of the local supply and service offerings, the infrastructure and an overall increase of living and quality of life. An improved supply and infrastructure investment should ultimately lead to job creation and regional added value. While regional development in the past was equated with the obtainment of export earnings, the residential economy shows how capital imports also can contribute to the strengthening of the regional economy. By the immigration of commuters, retirees and second home owners incomes from an external source flows in the region. The use of this income takes place mostly, however, in the region and leads to an improvement of the private and public supply. Residential economy is primarly defined on the demand rather than the supply. Only an increase in demand leads to a corresponding improvement of the supply. The aim of the paper is to show the potentials and the current economic significance of the residential economy for the Swiss canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden. In the government program 2012 to 2015 of the canton the increase of the cantonal residential population as a topmost aim is formulated. Appenzell Ausserrhoden wants to create conditions and incentives for higher investments in housing. The attractiveness as a place of residence is increased through this, the migration will slow down and the immigration promoted. Canton and communities together ensure that attractive locations with good transport connections and high quality of living are managed specifically. Using an interdependent regional network indicators were identified that show which industries are relevant in the residential economy and what indicators can be used to measure the current economic impact of the residential economy for the region. As a result an assessment of the contribution of the residential economy to the overall economy of the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden (eg jobs, value added) is made and actions and measures are identified, how the canton Appenzell Ausserrhoden can promote the residential economy.
contribution to scientific community
Regional Studies Association European Conference 2013
Tampere / Finnland