Working paper

To them that hath: economic complexity and local industrial strategy in the UK

Economic development Productivity Research and development Place-based policy United Kingdom

Faced with rising regional inequality and stagnating growth, policymakers in advanced economies are increasingly looking for measures to boost productivity while addressing highly uneven economic development. In this paper, the authors have extended economic complexity approaches to analyse data on UK local authorities and highlighted the unique ability of the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) and Product Complexity Index (PCI) measures to provide novel insights into regional specialisation patterns.

In contrast to previous work, which cast the ECI and PCI measures in terms of capturing the diversity and sophistication of production, here the authors demonstrate how the measures instead provide a useful approach for reducing the dimensionality of the data and provide a useful inclusion to the tool-kit for analysing place-based industrial specialisation.

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