Economic Strategies for Mature Industrial Economies

Economic Strategies for Mature Industrial Economies

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl

The global economy has transformed during the last few decades. Though the changes have benefited some, many mature industrial economies have not been treated well by the changes they have seen and have been forced to adapt to dramatically altered circumstances. In this collection of original papers, economists and geographers from Asia, North America and Europe examine the policy initiatives that have succeeded in their countries.

Chapter 4: The Knowledge Base, Research and Development and Regional Economic Policy: The US and UK Experience

William F. Lever

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, cities, regional economics, urban economics


William F. Lever INTRODUCTION As the world becomes increasingly concerned about the onset of recession, whose depth and likely duration is uncertain, it may seem shortsighted or parochial to focus on local economic policy. Currently, national factors, and global processes, offer the most widely adopted explanations of the downturn. The fact that there are economy-based riots in Vladivostok and Moscow suggests that the whole of Russia has economic problems which stem from the two-thirds reduction in the price of oil. All Chinese cities seem to be suffering their share of the Chinese downturn in the economic growth rate from 10 per cent p.a. to 6 per cent p.a. So global has the economic downturn become that global unemployment rates are now being calculated and forecast at the global scale for the first time by the IMF and the ILO. Global unemployment rose from 180 million out of a total of 3 billion (5.6 per cent) in 2007, to 190 million (6.2 per cent) in 2008 and to 200 million (6.9 per cent) in 2009 (O’Grady, 2009). In this context, however, there is still justification for examining economy at the local scale, either urban or regional. Successful local policy intervention may be able to ameliorate or offset the impact of national or global recession. Even if this does not happen, local policy can place cities or regions on a better footing to benefit when growth returns. The British government has been criticized for not putting its financial house in order during...

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