Call for Papers - Special Issue: The impact of history on regional development

Guest editors: Carlo Ciccarelli (University of Rome Tor Vergata) and Torben Dall Schmidt (University of Southern Denmark)

Path dependence and the importance of initial conditions is a recurrent aspect in regional science. Both may in turn be place dependent. This hints at the importance of history for regional development. Indeed, a rising number of scholars focus on local and regional historical dependencies, which is propelled by the availability of an increasing number of high quality data and statistical reconstructions of local and regional socioeconomic variables. This special issue focuses on the impact of history on regional development. This is primarily to be understood as research into the impact of history on current local and regional development patterns. Contributions on historical developments that may provide lessons on contemporary developments are also welcome. The focus is on both regional development patterns and local developments (such as urban areas and market towns). The special issue is intended to reach across disciplines. Both theoretical and empirical contributions from a wide set of disciplines of e.g. economics, geography, history, are welcome. Examples of topics are:

  • Structural change and sectoral relocation of economic activities
  • Infrastructure, institutions and technological change
  • Population, labor market, human capital and family structures
  • Borders, international and regional mobility (trade, migration and labor mobility) 
  • Place-based policies

To provide an instrument of early feedbacks a webinar for selected submissions of interest is organized in the beginning of 2021.

Submissions and deadlines

All submission of full papers will go through a standard blind peer review process. Submission of full paper can be made through Editorial Manager from now until 30 September 2021. Scholars who want to present preliminary evidence at the early 2021 webinar should submit an abstract of max 500 words by 31 December 2020 to the guest editors (contact below). Expected publication: December 2022


Carlo Ciccarelli ( or Torben Dall Schmidt (


Bleakley, H. and Lin, J. (2012): Portage and path dependence.  The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 127(2), 587-644.

De Blasio, G., Poy, S. (2016) The Impact of Local Wage Regulations on Employment: A Border Analysis from Italy in the 1950s. Journal of Regional Science, 57 (1): 48-74.

Martin, R., Sunley, P. (2006) Path dependence and regional economic evolution. Journal of Economic Geography, 6 (4), 395-437.

Rosés, J. R., and Wolf, N. (2018), The Economic Development of Europe's Regions. A Quantitative History since 1900, Routledge, London.

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