Working paper: Growing Apart?

The past few decades have seen an historic shift towards a services-led economy, a shift which some cities have weathered better than others. The growth in the types have services has also been varied, with some showing much faster more dynamic growth than others.

This paper splits cities into a number of ‘clubs’ depending on their economic performance since 1971. It then identifies what role the changing industrial structure of cities has played in this performance relative to the role that city specific effects have had. It finds that while structural change has had a big impact, they do not fully explain performance, and city specific factors have also played a role.

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