The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 241–264 | Cite as

Territorial capital and the resilience of European regions

  • Ugo Fratesi
  • Giovanni PeruccaEmail author
Special Issue Paper


Starting in 2007–2008, an economic crisis with no comparable precedent after WWII has affected most of the World, and Europe in particular. Yet, despite the pervasiveness of the crisis, its impact was highly differentiated across countries. The macroeconomic country-level effects are very important, but also within countries the impact on the various regions has been far from uniform, with some regions, often the most urban, able to resist the crisis better than others. Among the many factors which can have influenced the differential impact of the crisis in Europe, this paper looks at the regional endowment of structural territorial assets, those which have been labelled as “territorial capital”. Territorial capital comprehends all those assets, being material or immaterial, public or private, which represent the development potential of places. Territorial capital enhances regional growth in ordinary times, and, being structural, can be expected to also act as a factor of resilience in times of crisis. To investigate this hypothesis, a database of territorial capital indicators for all regions of the European Union at NUTS3 level is exploited, and a classification of regions based on the endowment of territorial capital is built. It appears that regions belonging to different groups, i.e. being differently endowed with territorial capital, have had different degrees of resilience, with some being able to maintain their income levels better than their country and others losing ground. The structure of regions is hence an important determinant of how they can afford periods of distress, and in particular, more resilient have been those regions endowed with less mobile territorial capital assets and with those territorial capital assets of mixed levels of materiality and rivalry.

JEL Classification

R1 R11 R12 

Supplementary material

168_2017_828_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 26 KB)
168_2017_828_MOESM2_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (docx 27 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction EngineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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