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Uneven economic development and its implications for policy: lessons from the UK

Overman, Henry G. (2018) Uneven economic development and its implications for policy: lessons from the UK. Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, 47. pp. 106-111. ISSN 0081-4776

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Abstract

This paper examines the UK’s large and, by some measures, growing variation in economic performance across cities and regions and assesses how policymakers can and should respond. The traditional policy mix – including central government investments in local growth projects, transport and other infrastructure, and funding for business support and access to finance – has not been effective. Greater local control is needed to improve policy effectiveness and recent devolution deals and directly elected mayors are a step in this direction. Nonetheless, when devolving powers, it is important that policies that have wide scale impacts (such as transport and housing) are coordinated across local areas. London’s strong economic performance plays a large part in explaining widening disparities within the UK. Providing an effective counter-balance to London may require policy aimed at ‘rebalancing’ to be more spatially focused. Ultimately, policymakers should care about the effect of policies on people more than on places and thus efforts to rebalance an economy should be judged on the extent to which they improve opportunities for all, rather than whether they narrow the gap between particular places.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
JEL classification: R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 13:27
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2019 02:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100833

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