Portuguese Economic Journal

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 107–127 | Cite as

Market potential and welfare: evidence from the Iberian Peninsula



We present a methodology to quantify market potential in the context of an economic geography model. The model is then applied to the NUTS 2 regions of Portugal and Spain. Some results can be pointed out. First, the Iberian Peninsula presents a clear centre-periphery pattern. The market potential pike is situated in the region of Madrid, followed very closely by Cataluña and Pais Vasco. Also all Portuguese regions are at the bottom of the market potential rank, i.e.: Portugal is at the periphery of Spain. Second, the regional welfare index confirms market potential results. There is therefore a direct correlation between market potential and regional welfare. Third, a scenario of complete integration between the Portuguese and the Spanish economy is favourable to the most laggard regions. On the contrary, the most advanced regions of each country loose a little. However, ‘lock-in’ effects allow the most central regions to continue in the forefront of development and welfare.


Economic geography Market potential Centre-periphery Iberian Peninsula 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of Lisbon (ISEG/UTL)LisbonPortugal

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