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Economic prosperity is very unevenly distributed across space, both locally and globally. Tackling these persistent disparities is a key policy objective. The Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) was set up in 2008 to provide a rigorous understanding of the nature, extent, causes and consequences of these disparities, and to identify appropriate policy responses.

From September 2015, SERC has been integrated within the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE as the CEP's Urban and Spatial Programme, directed by Professor Stephen Gibbons.

Our aim is to provide high quality independent research to further understanding as to why some regions, cities and communities prosper, whilst other do not. Our research programmes explore disparities, their effects and potential remedies at all spatial levels including regional, city-region, local and neighbourhood. We also aim to influence and improve policy decision-making at the international, national and local levels, connecting policy makers with international expertise, research and good practice in diagnosing and tackling such differences.

Part of our research focusses on the UK and other developed economies. We also examine the patterns, causes, consequences, and policy implications of the spatial development of cities in developing countries, particularly sub-saharan Africa.

SERC was funded between 2008 and 2014 by grants from the Economic and Social Research Council, Department for Business Innovation & Skills, Welsh Assembly Government and the Department of Communities and Local Government (between 2008 and 2011). The CEP Urban and Spatial Programme is currently funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Our work on Urbanisation in Developing Countries receives funding from the World Bank and the Department for International Development and is led by Vernon Henderson at LSE, jointly with Tony Venables and Paul Collier at the University of Oxford