Social Disparities in the Regional Development and Policies of Romania

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Abstract

This article analyzes the current state of regional disparities in Romania and their dynamics. An index of social development (IDSL) is proposed and computed for each of the communes and cities of the country. The concept basis of that index is given by the notion of community capital with its human, material and vital components. The configuration of social regional disparities results by aggregating IDSL values by counties, communes of the same county, cities of the same county, historical regions and development regions. Regional disparities are analysed, on the one hand, by aggregated values of that index and, on the other hand, by considering the dynamics of GDP per inhabitant, infant mortality rate and life expectancy at birth. The key axes of regional disparities in Romania are related to rural-urban residence, population density, accessibility to service and employment centres, agricultural vs. non-agricultural employment, and network capital of the population. Policy implications of the analysis are introduced by a discussion section at the end of the paper.

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