[Publisher:] Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IfW) [Place:] Kiel [Year:] 1983
Kiel Working Paper 189
In the course of the last quarter century increased attention has been drawn towards measures aimed at promoting economic growth by allowing economic activities to be set up in special delimited areas and freeing them therein from many distortions otherwise shackling the economy. This idea, which can be traced back to the free ports of the ancient city-states along the eastern and southern rim of the Mediterranean as well as to the Hansaleague, has received impetus in recent times from two main sources. First of all, the initial success which various fastgrowing, newly industrialized countries (NICs) seemed to have had with economic activity zones soon produced numerous emulations as other countries sought ways to profit from freer trade without necessarily having to open up the entire economy. Second, and more recently, interest in such instruments has been spreading all the faster, the longer the current economic malaise lasts and the greater their potential is perceived as being capable of reactivating those market forces whose slipping into dormancy created a lethargic economy.