Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung 3 / 1970, S. 196-208
The enactment of the Spatial Structure Law along with the Law concerning the Community Task "Improvement of the Regional Economic Structure" provided the framework within which an efficient spatial-structure policy could be developed. Using this opportunity federal and Land authorities have decided to unify planning of their spatial-structure measures. Twelve Regional Action Programs have resulted from this co-operation. The goals and structural-policy measures set forth in these programs give attention to nearly all regions of the Federal Republic, in which development has lagged behind the average. The Regional Action Programs can thus be regarded as useful preparatory work for the planning framework to be constructed jointly by federal and Land authorities. The structural problems to which this general plan is to be addressed are so complex that it appears questionable whether, without further revision, structural-policy ·planning procedures thus far utilized will always yield the most efficient proposals. Whereas infra-structure expenditures presently already constitute 10 per cent of the GNP (DM 60 billion), even slight planning deficiencies can result in considerable burdens on the economy. Linear optimizing reduces the risk of planning deficiencies. The formal structure of these models is so flexible in the explanation of complex interrelations, that their utilization can no longer be rejected as unrealistic. The achievable degree of exactness with which these models illustrate reality, is determined more by the ability to accurately quantify all political factors, targets, and budget limitations for their insertion into the model. The main object here cannot be the discovery of the singular "true" welfare function, but rather a usable approximation for the objective function of highest priority. Presumably planning deficiencies which result from the utilization of an only approximate welfare function, such as that of GNP growth, can be expected to be less than those which are possible if checking by means of formalized planning models is foregone altogether.