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ResearchUrban and Regional Studies InstituteResearch projects

Economy and Place

The Research Cluster on Economy and Place focuses its research on the issues surrounding the performance, spatial transformation and interactions between economic agents, institutions and factors of production within an explicitly spatial context. The specific research topics currently underway include investigations into the role played by higher education institutions in promoting regional knowledge spillovers; human capital and the migration behaviour of university graduates; the impacts of technological change on firm productivity; entrepreneurship and regions; social capital and its impacts on international migration behaviour; agglomeration and industrial clustering; gender, organisations and labour markets; the evaluation and effectiveness of labour market policy; the economic geography of globalisation; the regional impacts of creativity, trust, happiness and community engagement; landscape valuation, ecosystem services; real estate markets and local economic development, procurement of public goods; social capital and local governance; social engagement and neighbourhood dynamics; the evolution and changes in European regional policy. Our analytical approach generally adopts a place-based way of thinking and emphasises the role which the local context plays in shaping economic behaviour and outcomes.

Our research dovetails with each of the key elements of the faculty/URSI research programme tWIST, and our portfolio of research projects reflect a wide-ranging approach to the identification and measurement of wellbeing and innovation in a society undergoing spatial transformation. Our work necessarily involves collaborations with colleagues from each of the other research clusters within tWIST and such collaborations operate on many different levels. Recently we have increased our emphasis on incorporating and assessing the impacts of demographic change, and in particular of societal ageing, in various lines of enquiry. Example projects here include the impact of local population decline on local entrepreneurship, the links between population ageing and changing housing demand, the links between population decline, local labour market performance and the housing market, the optimal design of public procurement. In addition we are currently investigating the relationship between regional variations in wellbeing and other influences on regional resilience including cultural factors, as well as economic indicators of innovation and productivity. Working with our colleagues from each of the tWIST research clusters as well as with international collaborators, we are also increasingly focusing on regions facing decline or adverse shocks, with vulnerable ecosystems such as the UNESCO-world heritage Wadden wetlands area or post-disaster situations.

Last modified:19 July 2018 2.25 p.m.