Regional disparities are a research and political theme that has received considerable attention. This is also because regional disparities constitute a pull factor of migration, because high regional disparities may seriously threaten territorial integrity, and because socioeconomic development potential is not fully realized in lagging regions. Not surprisingly, regional disparities are an important research and political theme for New Silk Road countries and this is also reflected in the focus of this paper. The primary aim of this paper is to characterize regional disparities in selected New Silk Road countries, namely in China, in Russia and in Visegrad Four countries, and subsequently to discuss the relationship between regional disparities and the One Belt, One Road Initiative. The results point out the presence of a pattern of regional disparities in the countries. In this regard, the importance of the East-West gradient, of spatial hierarchy, and of inherited specialization is particularly emphasized. Reflecting the pattern of regional disparities, the potential of the One Belt, One Road Initiative to stimulate development of lagging regions is indicated.
Jiří Novosák, Jana Novosáková, Oldřich Hájek and Peter Horváth
The intention of this paper is to provide empirical evidence on how the factors of socio-economic disadvantage and absorption capacity influence the spatial distribution of Structural Fund (SF) payments among the Czech Republic’s micro-regions during the 2007–2013 programming period. The empirical results indicate that agglomeration economies, innovation and entrepreneurship are associated with higher SF absorption capacity and higher SF payments, challenging the tendency for socio-economically disadvantaged regions to converge. SF absorption capacity measured especially by the number of project applications submitted for SF financing and by the average SF budget per project application, is a crucial concept in order to understand the relationship between within-country regional disparities and SF interventions.
Jiří Novosák, Jana Novosáková, Oldřich Hájek and Jiří Koleňák
The purpose of the present paper is to find whether the spatial distribution of enterprise support policy funds meet the spatial objectives stated in Czech strategic documents related to enterprise support policy. Are more funds allocated in lagging regions, and does enterprise support policy contribute more to the convergence objective, or are more funds allocated in core regions, and does enterprise support policy contribute more to the competitiveness objective? These questions are answered by evaluating the Structural (and Cohesion) Fund (SF) expenditures that were allocated on operations categorised as part of enterprise support policy (2007-2013). The dependent variable relates to 206 regions, and SF expenditures are calculated for every inhabitant of a region. Moreover, two types of SF operation are distinguished: (a) innovationoriented operations; and (b) other enterprise support operations. Three explanatory variables are defined using Principal Components Analysis (PCA), and these components are understood as: (1) the social disadvantage of regions; (2) the innovation environment of regions; and (3) the quality of regional entrepreneurial environments. The associations between the dependent and explanatory variables are subsequently evaluated by methods of correlation and regression analysis. The findings provide some evidence for both the convergence and competitiveness objectives. Nevertheless, this evidence is rather limited due to a low spatial concentration of SF allocation, and the compensatory effect between the two thematic types of SF operations. Hence, while the quality of their innovation environment has a positive influence on regional SF allocation regardless of the thematic focus of SF operations, socially disadvantaged regions received more funds for SF operations which are not innovation-oriented. The capacity of potential beneficiaries to prepare and submit many project proposals for SF co-financing is the main reason for high or low SF allocation.