The main aim of this paper is to present the concept of regional distance as a measure of economic diversity at the regional level. Additionally, the paper is devoted to the identification of regional inequalities in Poland, based on the metric presented. Estimates of the regional distance between specific regions (NUTS 2) and the mean level of development of the national economy or Mazowieckie Voivodship (the region with the highest GDP per capita in Poland) were based on calculations conducted using logarithmic equations. Two different distances were calculated: (a) the mean number of years required to achieve the present reference area level of development, (b) the mean number of years necessary to achieve the reference area GDP per capita, taking into consideration the growth rate of the reference area. The empirical example of regional distance application revealed significant inequalities between regions of Poland at NUTS 2 level.
The aim of this paper is to present the spatial distribution of openness to foreign trade assessed at the local level (LAU 1, poviats) in Poland, between 2005 and 2012, with particular reference to its two determinants: activity of foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) and functioning of special economic zones (SEZs). With the use of data from different sources, including the foreign trade statistics for the Polish regions, constituting a set of indicators on openness to foreign trade, we deliberate on the determinants and the character of regional openness, as well as the quality of the proxies used in order to assess their spatial distribution. Our results indicate high regional dissimilarities in terms of export activity, correlated with the broader picture of regional inequalities. The role of FOEs has been crucial in determining the spatial distribution of exports. As regards the SEZs, their sole contribution increased significantly during the time span. In the times of the world financial crisis, the export performance diversity of poviats increased temporarily but diminished afterwards.