The elusive quest for balanced regional growth from Barlow to Brexit: lessons from partitioning regional employment growth in Great Britain

Ray, D. M., Hall, P. G. and O'Donoghue, D. (2018) The elusive quest for balanced regional growth from Barlow to Brexit: lessons from partitioning regional employment growth in Great Britain. Growth and Change, 00 (00). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1468-2257.

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Abstract

The British Government’s economic strategy for post-Brexit Britain of achieving balanced regional growth by “driving growth across the whole country” echoes the objectives set by the Barlow Report of 1940. The regional policies that followed the Barlow Report were heavily influenced by papers written for the Commission by G D A (later Sir Donald) MacDougall.

The first of these papers was included as an appendix to the report itself and introduced the shift-share methodology to the analysis of regional employment growth, and subsequently shown to be flawed.

The second paper considered the urban hierarchy and growth but was never fully developed. Consequently post-war regional policy focussed on the contribution of industrial structure to employment growth without fully taking into account the urban hierarchy or regional locations of that employment.

This article replaces the flawed shift-share methodology with multifactor partitioning (MFP) and applies it to regional employment growth for the period 1971-2012, a span of special interest because it largely coincides with British membership of the European Union (EU). The deficiencies in the second paper are addressed by introducing allometry to measure the employment growth of each region relative to that of Great Britain and then regression analysis to relate the allometries to distance from London.

The results of the two sets of analyses highlight the need for a multiple-factor, comprehensive, and integrated approach to regional policy and provide a benchmark against which to gauge the success of Britain's post-Brexit policy of driving future growth across the whole country.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Daniel Donoghue
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2018 08:37
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2018 18:45
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17675

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00