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Rethinking the political economy of place: challenges of productivity and inclusion

Evenhuis, Emil, Lee, Neil ORCID: 0000-0002-4138-7163, Martin, Ron and Tyler, Peter (2021) Rethinking the political economy of place: challenges of productivity and inclusion. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 14 (1). 3 - 24. ISSN 1752-1378

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Identification Number: 10.1093/cjres/rsaa043


The global financial crisis of just over a decade ago exposed longer-term systemic problems in global capitalism of which two of the most prominent are the slowdown in the underlying trend rate of productivity growth, alongside a rise in economic and spatial inequalities in many advanced economies. The Covid-19 pandemic looks set to further amplify these problems. This Editorial begins by discussing the scale of the productivity slowdown and of the widening inequalities that have emerged, particularly with regard to their spatial dimension: That is how the uneven and slow development of productivity and rise in inequalities have played out across and within regions and cities. It then briefly considers underlying factors that lie behind these trends, including financialisation/financial globalization, the diminishing role of organised labour, segmentation of the labour market favouring workers who play a key role in financialisation, together with the increasing polarisation within societies according to skill and, crucially, the impact of changing industrial composition particularly as it relates to the rise of the high-tech sectors. The Editorial then examines in what ways the slowdown of productivity and widening of economic and spatial inequalities, may be interrelated, and questions the notion of any efficiency-equity trade-off. Lastly, it considers whether the 'inclusive growth' agenda can potentially reconcile the two ambitions of improving productivity performance and lessening inequalities, reflecting on what inclusive growth could mean, and what it could imply in terms of policy. Thus far, it appears that an inclusive growth agenda has only gained some traction at the subnational level, which seems to reflect- A t least in part- A ttempts by cities and regions to address gaps in policy left by national governments.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
H - Public Economics > H4 - Publicly Provided Goods > H40 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O40 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O18 - Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R12 - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade
Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 10:09
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2024 20:00

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