School of Economics

ESRC IAA Round 2 award

Dr Robert Zymek has been offered a secondment to the Industrial Strategy Council to work on the Regional Productivity and Local Growth project.

Project dates: 1 May 2019 - 31 Oct 2019.

Industrial Strategy Council Feb 2020

Robert Zymek reports back from the Industrial Strategy Council

On 4 February 2020, the UK Industrial Strategy Council published a review of the academic evidence on the extent and causes of spatial disparities in UK productivity, and the implications for policies aimed at promoting local productivity growth. Robert Zymek was the lead author of the report, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The review finds that  differences in productivity across UK regions are large, in absolute terms and by international standards, and are longstanding. A number of British cities are “steaming ahead” with high levels and growth rates of productivity and income, but not all cities are doing well. Furthermore, in a number of towns, coastal regions and rural areas, the levels and growth rates of productivity are low.

There is no simple or single reason for these wide and widening differences in spatial performance. In practice, highly productive regions tend to out-perform low-productivity regions along a number of dimensions – from the skills and health of the workforce to quality of local institutions and infrastructures. The report reviews the recent regional-policy landscape and makes broad recommendations for future interventions to tackle productivity disparities.

The full report can be found here