The paper introduces a theoretical model to show how in a spatial framework characterized by urban-rural imbalances, the production of goods and services decreases moving from urban to rural areas. Specifically in rural and peripheral areas, the market and the public sector might supply an insufficient level of goods and services due to higher distance costs and lack of financial resources. Cooperatives and nonprofit organizations, i.e. social enterprises, are able to overcome distance costs and therefore spatial inequalities, by developing a productive and distributive function in marginalized areas, ensuring a fair and equal treatment among residents. Moreover, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations endorse the inclusiveness of the labor market, and raise peoples' intrinsic motivation.
Salustri, Andrea/Mosca, Michele et. al. (2015). Overcoming urban-rural imbalances : the role of cooperatives and social enterprises. Liège (Belgium) : CIRIEC, Université de Liège.