Geografie 2009, 114, 245-262

Can development axes be identified by socio-economic variables? The case of Czechia

Jiří Blažek, Pavlína Netrdová

Department of Social Geography and Regional development, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2, Czechia

This article aims to contribute to existing analyses of regional development in the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by conducting a detailed regional analysis at the municipal (LAU II) level in Czechia. The focus on such a detailed regional level allows for the testing of several hypotheses, for which traditional regional analyses based on NUTS II – NUTS III data were insufficient. First, we investigate whether development axes, as used in planning documents, manifest themselves at a higher level of socioeconomic development. Second, we expect the formation of clusters, exhibiting a higher level of socioeconomic development, around strong growth centres, such as the city of Mladá Boleslav. Third, we explore whether increasing differentiation has shifted from the regional level to the microregional/local level during the past 15 years of the post-socialist transformation. To address these hypotheses, we analyze a set of socioeconomic variables with the help of the spatial autocorrelation method, which allows us to generalize the inevitably, highly fragmented patterns found at the local level.


The paper was completed with financial support from Research Programme No. MSM 0021620831 sponsored by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and by grants from GA ČR No. 402/08/0484 and GA UK 8388/2008.


65 live references