Economic Development, Technological Change and Growth
Over the last few decades, global growth and development have been driven by highly
urbanised 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 metros 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
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