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Open AccessArticle

Are Investments in Basic Infrastructure the Magic Wand to Boost the Local Economy of Rural Communities from Romania?

Department of Public Administration and Management, Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca 400084, Romania
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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3384; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103384
Received: 19 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilient Infrastructure Systems and Sustainable Economic Growth)
This article investigates if public investments in rural basic infrastructure represent the best strategy for boosting the local economy of rural communities from Romania. The article focuses on one specific program implemented under the Cohesion policy in the framework of the National Plan for Rural Development, called Measure 322. Geographically, the research included a sample of rural communities from the North-Western Region of Romania. Moreover, the study also looks at other determinants of local economic development (LED), rather than infrastructure investments, with a focus on certain features characterizing Romanian rural communities such as population size, isolation from urban centers, connection with European and national roads networks, educational stock, etc. The research included three steps, namely the construction of the LED Index, a cvasi-experimental research, and a regression model. Our main findings seem to suggest that, while investments in infrastructure do help, the development gap between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries remains relatively the same. In terms of determinants of LED level, percentage of population with a university degree and connection to a European road are the most significant in the Romanian rural context. View Full-Text
Keywords: local economic development (LED) index; basic infrastructure; rural development; Romania; impact assessment local economic development (LED) index; basic infrastructure; rural development; Romania; impact assessment
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Pavel, A.; Moldovan, B.; Neamtu, B.; Hintea, C. Are Investments in Basic Infrastructure the Magic Wand to Boost the Local Economy of Rural Communities from Romania? Sustainability 2018, 10, 3384.

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