Divergent economic performance in many countries has led to renewed interest in place-based policies, such as the UK’s local industrial strategies at the level of Combined Authorities or Local Economic Partnerships. However, an analysis of employment data using methods from the economic complexity literature demonstrates great heterogeneity in industrial strengths and future growth opportunities within those jurisdictions, raising challenges in designing common policies suited to all sub-geographies. Moreover, the ‘related’ industries into which low-complexity, low-wage local authorities could potentially diversify are also low-wage. Incremental policies building on existing local capacities are therefore likely to amplify divergence between prospering and left-behind areas.
- Economic complexity
- Industrial strategy
- Place-based policy
- Regional economic development