The concept of Growth centers and growth poles were developed to explain the imbalance in the growth of regions and the need for regional planning to dissipate growth to underdeveloped regions.
The common features of all the growth theories of 1950
- all are neo classical in approach
- the discount the importance of consciously developing the social aspects because they assume economic growth will on its own will translate into social benefits.
- They are based on the experience of Europe and the success of Marshall plan
- they are models in capitalism and they have functional rigidity in terms of acknowledging the preeminence of industrialisation as the only and sole basis of economic development.
- they all encourage economic planning to replicate European experience but they do not prescribe communist models of absolute state control.
The concept of 'growth pole' was developed by French economist Francois Perroux. He opined that growth is not ubiquitous, rather it occurs at poles, centers, and points with variable intensities. Growth spread along different channels at varying rates with variable terminal effects.
ubiquitous is not in the context of geographic space but an economic space. from economics we apply the model for geography also.
spreads spreads along certain preferred growth channel and spread happens at wearing rates and the consequences of growth is not same everywhere.
The concept of growth pole is based on Schumpeter's analysis of development. According to this analysis 'growth pole' is a set of Propulsive Innovative largest industry in a particular region which has inherent potential to generate multiplier effect over other industries of a particular region, because of the nature of Forward and Backward linkages. It will have advanced Technology and Managerial expertise.
Over a period of time, the region will have secondary and tertiary growth centers because of clustering economic activities which result in uniform regional development.
Assumptions (Growth centers and growth pole)
- Human activity must be clustered together to generate internal & external economies of scale.
- If clustering is allowed it may result in a heavy social clash in terms of congestion and dis-economics of scale and spatial imbalance. This process generates clustering of human activities and social imbalance
- This can be avoided through policy direction and to generate growth foci in areas where they don't exist. Eg., creating SEZ in Tirunelveli
Growth Centre theory
According to Boudeville, Growth centers are industries located in an urban area which has a strong relationship with the hinterland socially, economically, politically, and geographically. These centers become centers of agglomeration effect.
The theory of Perroux was functional in nature, he didn't explain geographical concentration and he defined industrial concept in the narrow sense that is few group of industries, where Boudeville modified growth pole into geographical area.
- Economics internal to the firm:
- It lowers the average cost of production resulting from an increased rate of operational efficiency like organizational and administration efficiencies.
- Economics external to firm but internal to the industries:
- It is associated with localization of industry on account of close location proximity of the linked form. As the industry expands at particular locations the cost with that of production declines.
- Economics external to the industries but internal to the urban areas:
- This is called urbanization economics. The strategies include the development of the urban labor market, provision to a wide range of facilities, and access to large market areas.
Difference between Growth centers and growth pole
|Growth Pole||Growth Centre|
|Set of propulsive industries||Urban industrial complex associated with a set of Industries|
|Functional concept||Geographical and spatial concept|
|Concerned with backward & forward linkage b/w industries||Concerned with the backward and forward linkage of all economic activities within a particular region|
|Concerned with the economic growth of the industry||Concerned with the economic development of the region|
|Growth pole concerned with industrial growth.||Growth center is concerned with industrial development|
|Not concerned with external economics of scale||More concerned with the economic association.|
Examples - Global level Growth centers and growth pole
Britain after the 1960s adopted the growth pole concept as a basic concept in program planning for regional development
In Canada growth was earlier concentrated only on St.Lawrence waterway that resulted in growth centers like Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, etc. But the government subsidies and other interventions like the TransCanada railway have disbursed the growth centers into Regina and Winnipeg.
In France, Paris was formed as a center of growth. Later through policy incursion places like Bordeaux, Lyon etc. promoted as an alternate growth pole and reduce regional disparity in France.
Most of the Latin American countries follow growth pole and growth Centre concept as a tool for industrial expansion to reduce regional disparity.
Peru is considered an example of a growth pole, which has generated huge economic growth in a semi-arid condition. When it attracted large laborers of the Andean Community. Resources have been utilized efficiently. Though it started with industry, it expanded to all other sectors and resulted in creating 2 growth centers Lima and Trujillo.
Quito in Ecuador served as a growth center, Guayaquil has become a secondary growth Centre.
Indian Examples - Growth centers and growth pole
Bhilai was promoted as a growth pole based on iron and steel industries which have linkages with coal mining areas and manganese mining in Palghat, region. Effect on Forward linkage with Kolkata port by NH6 and railways.
Jamshedpur deliberately created as a growth pole based on iron 4 steel industries later it attracted a population from the hinterland. So, heavy industries have become the propulsive industry to promote growth in this region.
Critical appraisal of Growth centers and growth pole concept
- There is no conceptual clarity b/w growth pole and growth center concept and it is confusing in nature.
- The polarization of development in a geographic region may result in regional disparity because of the absence of a strong spread wash effect. This has occurred in most of the areas where particular industries were grown without hinterland development.
- It has attracted capital-labor and other resources from the hinterland through the backwash effect but failed to transform its fruits of growth to the hinterland
- There is a lot of controversy regarding the generation of innovation and diffusion of innovation because identifying innovativeness and establishing linkages with the hinterland is very difficult.
- There is a limitation in the polarization concept itself. Eg. Raising wages of labor, rent directly affects industrial growth which may lead to a decline in the industries itself.
- This theory promotes commercial private firms.
- Formed as a top-down approach rather than the bottom-up approach
- The creation of industries in an area needs huge initial investment and a long gestation period
- Failed to identify the people's preferences and social acceptability of the people. Eg. Posco is Orissa and Tata nano in west Bengal.
- This theory is based on natural raw material supply from hinterland areas but most of the modern industries are non-natural resource based.
- Selection of growth pole based on political consideration is not sustainable in the long run as it has happened in Baruni and Bongaigaon
- This theory is based on contemporary observation rather than historical analysis. As a result, it created financial capital in a particular region but failed to develop social capital.
- Growth pole and growth center relevance to India: It is particularly successful in resource-rich regions like Vizag which attracted both industries and population but it failed to develop interior hinterland like Bhilai.
R.D. Mishra has proposed an alternative model with a bottom approach where it has 4 tier hierarchy of growth centers.
R.D. Mishra's 4 tier hierarchy growth centers.
- Service Centre:
- 80,000 population with 5 villages of 6,000 population each.
- Services like groceries, post office, etc.
- Growth Points:
- 1.5 lakh operation.
- Agro-based industries, diary, medical facilities, recreational services, etc.,
- Growth Centre:
- 10 – 12 lakh population.
- Storing and processing of Agri products. Input supply. Like fertilizer radio station universities etc.
- Growth Pole:
- 10 – 25 lakh population :
- Financial, technological service, highly, specialized secondary and tertiary activities.
The concept of Growth centers and growth poles has proved applicable to developing countries like India. However, the growth pole in our country has not resulted in trickle-down and spread wash. So, in order to make every village a growth pole, he modified the concept and created bottom – top approach (73rd amendment), where it empowered every village economically, socially, politically to act as growth foci in a region. Further refining and revamping and restructuring is necessary rather than adopting a westernized mode as such.