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Conference: Local Economic Growth: Recession, Resilience and Recovery

Conference: Local Economic Growth: Recession, Resilience and Recovery

11th-12th July 2013, McGrath Centre, St Catharine's College, Cambridge


In Association with
The Cambridge Centre for Geographical Economic Research

The Cambridge Political Economy Society held a two-day conference that brought together current and new thinking on the determinants of local economic growth. It drew upon and explored a number of alternative perspectives and how these help us to understand the forces that are shaping patterns of economic growth and development at the local level at a time when many local economies are struggling to resume economic growth and prosperity. The conference assessed the scope for policy intervention and the direction this might take.

The conference focused on how regions and sub regions in the UK, Europe and the USA have differed in their response to, and recovery from, successive major economic recessions, and the extent to which these differences in response and recovery have affected long-run regional and sub-regional growth paths. A particular focus was on the current crisis and recession, and how the geographies of this compare to those of the downturns of the early-1980s and early-1990s. The conference also contributed to the development of policies aimed at building local economic resilience.

The conference drew upon research being carried out by a Cambridge-Southampton based team on an ESRC funded project How Regions React to Recession: Resilience, Hysteresis and Long-term Impacts and conducted under the aegis of the Cambridge-based Centre for Geographical Economic Research. This conference included researchers on cognate projects being funded by ESPON, and the European Research Council. This event was also sponsored by the UKIRC and Cambridge Econometrics.

It is expected that papers selected from the presentations will form the basis of a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, an international journal based in Cambridge, published under the auspices of the Cambridge Political Economy Society.

The conference attracted several constituencies: academics working in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, and the USA/Canada; policy representatives of UK Government Departments (BIS, DCLG), the OECD and the European Commission (DG Regio); representatives from the English Local Enterprise Partnerships, and delegates from the business community.


Topics covered in the conference included:

  • The long-run empirics of local economic growth
  • Understanding the determinants of local economic growth
  • The resilience of local economies to recession
  • The local impacts of fiscal austerity
  • Policies for local economic growth


The conference ran over two days starting at 9.30am on Thursday 11th July and closing on the afternoon of Friday 12th July. Seventeen speakers presented at the event. In addition a Panel Session of Local Enterprise Partnership representatives and other local organisations was held towards the end of day one. The Conference programme and attendees list can be viewed.

Presentations and other relevant publications

All papers presented at the event are available to download using the links below which are listed in the order they were presented by main presenter:

Conference feedback

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