Dachin, Anca Constantin, Daniela Goschin, Zizi Mitrut, Constantin Ileanu, Bogdan
Year of Publication:
50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
Among the EU countries, Romania displays the highest share of rural population (45%), most of it employed in agriculture. Moreover, there is a significant variation between the eight NUTS 2 regions with regards to the urban distribution and dynamics, with important intra-regional differences between the constituent counties. This paper proposes an inquiry into the capacity of urban centres to contribute to rural development in Romania from R&D and innovation perspective. First, the rural-urban gap is discussed, pointing at the consequences of the delay in implementing the reform of the production system in agriculture in terms of employment and income. Then, the positive influence of towns and cities on raising the share of employment in non-agricultural activities in rural areas is demonstrated by means of the available statistical data. Further on, the analysis of the regional dimension of R&D and innovation shows an increasing polarisation both between and within the eight development regions. The main conclusion is that the regions or counties with predominantly agricultural activities developed in subsistence households are not enough prepared to access R&D and innovation results. This conclusion is also confirmed by a regression model that analyses the influence of rural areas on regional growth. The above findings are examined in correlation with the expected positive contribution of the current rural development programme as well as of the regional operational programme and competitiveness sectorial programme funded by the EU.