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LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

About the Spatial Economics Research Centre

[photo: Henry Overman] The SERC Director is Dr Henry Overman.

[photo: Steve Gibbons] The SERC Research Director is Dr Steve Gibbons.
Economic prosperity in the UK is very unevenly distributed across space. In 2004, Gross Value Added (GVA) per person (adjusted for commuting) in Inner London and Berkshire, Bucks and Oxon was £24,500 and £23,700 respectively, about 40 per cent above the UK average of £17,100. In the same year, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, West Wales and the Valleys and Tees Valley and Durham had GVA per head of £11,000-£13,000, values 24 per cent or more below the UK average. The differences become even more striking at the scale of smaller neighbourhoods.

Tackling these persistent disparities is a key policy objective. Providing a rigorous understanding of the nature, extent, causes and consequences of these disparities, and identifying appropriate policy responses, is the primary objective of the Spatial Economics Research Centre.

The Spatial Economics Research Centre is based at the LSE and brings together leading researchers in the field from across the country including those from the Universities of Glasgow, Newcastle, Oxford, Strathclyde and Swansea.

The Centre is funded by a grant of £2.4 million over an initial three years, by the Economic and Social Research Council, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The Centre aims to provide high quality independent research to further understanding as to why some regions, cities and communities prosper, whilst other donít. Research will focus on why there are disparities in economic prosperity at all spatial levels including regional, city-region, local and neighbourhood.

Additionally, the Centre aims to influence and improve policy decision-making at the national and local levels, connecting UK policy makers with international expertise, research and good practice in diagnosing and tackling such differences.

The Centre is directed by Dr Henry Overman an expert in spatial economics and currently Reader in Economic Geography at the London School of Economics.