The productivity performance of different types of UK regions and the challenges of levelling up

Pei-Yu Yuan*, Philip McCann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This article examines the key features of the UK’s spatial productivity relationships and discusses some of the key questions currently being articulated or debated as they relate to potential devolution-related discussions. The paper demonstrates that the local productivity challenges facing UK regions are nationwide in nature rather than local, and systemic rather than specific. In particular, the scale-productivity relationships across cities and regions which are evident in almost all other OECD countries are largely absent in the UK. Instead, previous prosperity is the dominant marker of current local prosperity, suggesting that cumulative causation processes define the UK regional and urban economic landscape rather than scale relations. This article explains these features in a manner which is accessible to a wide audience, in order to provide greater clarity regarding the fundamental economic problems to be addressed and also the underlying objectives which the Levelling Up agenda needs to achieve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-98
Number of pages20
JournalNational Institute Economic Review
Volume261
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Regions
  • Cities
  • Productivity scale

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