The geographical distribution of growth is an important dimension of inequality that has often been overlooked by policymakers and academics. This is because it is often subordinated as a structural issue and thus lacks the resources and targeted policymaking required to alleviate the issue. In fact, as governments construct their post-pandemic recovery plans, they must understand that growth can only be inclusive if it lifts the fortunes of “forgotten places.” Spatial inequality is in many ways a macro-critical issue, as it directly interferes with broader sustainable growth goals. For instance, reducing geographic inequality can increase an economy’s productive capacity, reduce other dimensions of inequality, and even promote the green energy transition. Thus far, proposed solutions to combat this issue have focused on investments in infrastructure and education, but these have failed to produce strong results. This is largely because these policies are considered panaceas without considering important economic and social complexities. As the new Biden administration works to develop solutions to boost rural economies, they need to ensure that all levels of government work closely together to actualize real change. Further, there is scope for policy coordination and an exchange of ideas with the private sector, think tanks, and international organizations.
At the intersection of economics, finance, and foreign policy, the GeoEconomics Center is a translation hub with the goal of helping shape a better global economic future.