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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) aims to provide a rigorous understanding of the nature, extent, causes and consequences of these disparities, and to identify appropriate policy responses. Part of our research focusses on the UK and other developed economies. SERC also has programmes examining the patterns, causes, consequences, and policy implications of the spatial development of cities in developing countries, particularly sub-saharan Africa.

The Centre aims 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. The Centre also aims 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.

Established in 2008, SERC is based at the LSE. 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). Our programme on urbanisation in developing countries (led by Vernon Henderson at LSE, jointly with Tony Venables and Paul Collier at Oxford University receives funding from the World Bank and the Department for International Development.

Since September 2015, SERC has been integrated with the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance as the CEP Urban Programme. The Urban Programme/SERC is directed by Steve Gibbons, Professor in Economic Geography at the London School of Economics.