The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 569–589 | Cite as

Spatially blind policies? Analysing agglomeration economies and European Investment Bank funding in European neighbouring countries

  • David Castells-Quintana
  • Vicente Royuela
Special Issue Paper


Policies promoting development need to take into account the fact that globalisation has made space more rather than less important. To take full advantage of agglomeration economies that come with urban concentration, infrastructure plays a key role. For a long time development policies have focused on the provision of infrastructure. In this work, we analyse: first how urban concentration and infrastructure interact with each other for encouraging economic growth; and second whether policies promoting infrastructure have considered the spatial distribution of economic activity. As a case study, we focus on the European Investment Bank (EIB) projects financing infrastructures, for both the European Union and the EU neighbourhood. We perform panel data analysis considering different measures of infrastructure, and we also analyse the EIB projects. Our results suggest a relevant role of connectivity infrastructure (i.e. transport and communications) for agglomeration benefits to take place in European Neighbouring Policy countries. Our results also suggest that EIB funding in ENP countries is mostly country specific and displays no spatial dimension.


Spatially blind policies Agglomeration economies Economic growth Infrastructures EU ENP EIB 

JEL Classification

O18 R41 R42 R53 H54 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2010-2.2-1) under Grant Agreement No. 266834. We also acknowledge the support of ECO2013-41022R.

Supplementary material

168_2016_784_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (478 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 477 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversidad Autónoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.AQR-IREA Research GroupUniversidad de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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