Acta Universitatis Danubius. Œconomica, Vol 15, No 5 (2019)

Application of the Multi-dimensional Regional Economic Development Index (MREDI) in the metropolitan regions of South Africa

Daniel Francois Meyer, Jacques De Jongh


Over the last few decades global growth and development has been driven by highly urbanized regions. This has made the research field of regional economic development of major importance within the research field of Development Economics. The quantification of the progress in regional economic development has been attempted by many researchers. Previous attempts to measure regional economic development have made use of single and limited composite indices, such as the Human Development Index (HDI). These indices are limited in extent, failing to capture important aspects of development and therefore a gap for the formulation of a comprehensive regional economic development index exists. The primary objective of this study was therefore to apply the multi-dimensional regional development index (MREDI) in South Africa from 1997 to 2017. The research design methodology included a comprehensive literature review and the use of secondary data obtained from Global Insight. The index was applied to all eight metropolitan regions in South Africa. The findings indicate that metropolitan regions are at different stages of development while development also occurs at a different pace across regions. The results provide economic development practitioners with detailed insight of the socio-economic strengths and weaknesses of the metro’s in South Africa and where interventions are required. The implications of this alternative index are that it could be utilised as a tool for the analysis and measurement of global regional efforts, as well as to compare different economic regions vis-à-vis their level of economic development. 


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