2003 volume 21(3) pages 353 – 369
doi:10.1068/c0230

Cite as:
Bar-El R, Parr J B, 2003, "Overreliance on the core - periphery model? The case of Israel" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 21(3) 353 – 369

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Overreliance on the core - periphery model? The case of Israel

Raphael Bar-El, John B Parr

Received 19 April 2002; in revised form 20 November 2002

Abstract. In the field of national and regional development planning considerable use has been made of the core - periphery model as a means of generalising the spatial structure of a national economy. The general argument of the paper is that under certain conditions such a model may represent an unsatisfactory characterization of actual conditions which, in turn, may cause decisionmakers to make an inaccurate diagnosis of a regional problem, leading to an inappropriate policy response. After considering the core - periphery model and its recent extensions, this general argument is examined with respect to the Southern region of Israel, a region customarily viewed as one of the nation's peripheries. It is demonstrated that in several important respects the region does not conform to the usual stereotype of the periphery. The impact of public policy on the development of the region is also considered, and it is argued that the particular form of intervention has not always been in the best interests of the region. Two alternative policy emphases for the future development of the Southern region are outlined.

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