Developing effective regional policy
Governments have struggled for generations to reduce the disparities in economic performance between the different regions of England. Analysis has focused most recently on differences in levels of employment, education and skills, investment, innovation, enterprise and competition. Debate continues as to whether these are best tackled by generic policies to address “market failures” wherever they occur, or by specific policies targeted on individual regions.
However, work carried out by Frontier Economics for a group of government departments suggests there is a missing link in this analysis: the role of place-based factors such as peer pressures, neighbourhood and intergenerational influences. As this bulletin discusses, failure to take such local factors into account may lead to the design of inappropriate or inadequate policies.