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This programme considers the dynamics of the spatial economy in detail: how cities, regions and communities evolve over time, and the nature of the linkages between places.

One set of issues here is the way in which within-city disparities originate and evolve over time.  We explore the role of population composition, sorting and place-based effects through time, and how these factors germinate into changes in wages, house prices and employment patterns in cities.

Globalisation also has important implications for the evolution of the UK spatial economy. As market integration shapes trade flows, affected industries are often spatially concentrated so that large local effects may be felt even if the national effect is small. We are exploring the extent to which trade flows affect spatial disparities. Making links with the programme 'The Causes of Spatial Disparities', SERC researchers are also exploring the wider impacts of immigration on the evolution of spatial economies.

We are also interested in the deep history of the UK urban system. In the UK, current spatial disparities have persisted since the 1920s, although they show an almost complete reversal from those experienced before 1914. So were industrial cities just a short-term blip in the historical pattern of urban development? Or is path-dependence so strong that our cities will persist in the form thrown up by the industrial revolution? We are creating entirely new data sets to help answer these questions, covering all major Western Europe cities from 1600 to the present day, and providing detailed coverage for UK cities over the past 150 years.

Related Discussion papers

Changing Urban Form | Regional & Spatial Evolutions | Globalisation

Changing urban form

The Vertical City: The Price of Land and the Height of Buildings in Chicago 1870-2010
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Daniel P. McMillen, July 2015
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0180

Urban Development and Air Pollution: Evidence from a Global Panel of Cities
Christian A. L. Hilber, Charles Palmer, December 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0169

Urban Renewal after the Berlin Wall
Gabriel M. Ahfeldt, Wolfgang Maennig, Felix J. Richter, December 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0151

Gabriel M. Ahfeldt, May 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0136

Historic Amenities, Income and Sorting of Households
Hans R. A. Koster, Piet Rietveld, Jos Van Ommeren, January 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0124

The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Stephen J. Redding, Daniel M. Sturm, Nikolaus Wolf, September 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0118

If We Build, Will They Pay? Predicting Property Price Effects of Transport Innovations
Gabriel Ahlfeldt, March 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0075

Spatial Costs in a Monocentric City (And Implications for Agglomeration)
Hugh B. Wenban-Smith, October 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0032

The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities
Gilles Duranton, Matthew A. Turner, October 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0030

Regional and Spatial Evolutions

Business as Unusual. An Explanation of the Increase of Private Economic Activity in High-Conflict Areas in Afghanistan
Tommaso Ciarli, Chiara Kofol, Carlo Menon, July 2015
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0182

Exploring the Geography of China's Airport Networks: A Hybrid Complex-Network Approach
Zhengbin Dong, Wenjie Wu, March 2015
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0173

Spatial Methods
Steve Gibbons, Henry G. Overman, Eleonora Patacchini, August 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0162

Relocation of Public Sector Workers: Evaluating a Place-based Policy
Giulia Faggio, February 2014
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0155

Down and Out in Italian Towns: Measuring the Impact of Economic Downturns on Crime
Carlo Menon, Guido de Blasio, June 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SECDP0137

The Size Distribution Across All "Cities": A Unifying Approach
Kristian Giesen, Jens Suedekum, December 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0122

Specialization and Regional Economic Development
Thomas Kemeny, Michael Storper, December 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0121

Is Pennine England becoming more Polycentric or more Centripetal? An Analysis of Commuting Flows in a Transforming Industrial Region, 1981-2001
Tony Champion and Mike Coombes, April 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0105

Great Britain’s Second-Order City Regions in Recessions, 1978-2010
Tony Champion and Alan Townsend, April 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0104

Estimating and Forecasting with a Dynamic Spatial Panel Data Model
Badi H. Baltagi, Bernard Fingleton, Alain Pirotte, November 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0095

Geographic Concentration and the Temporal Scope of Agglomeration Economies: An Index Decomposition
Colin Wren, November 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0094

From Russia with Love: The Impact of Relocated Firms on Incumbent Survival
Oliver Falck, Christina Guenther, Stephan Heblich, William R. Kerr, August 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0088

Tracking Unemployment in Wales Through Recession and into Recovery
Marianne Sensier and Michael Artis, April 2011
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0079

The Fluctuating Record of Economic Regeneration in England's Second-Order City Regions, 1984-2007
Tony Champion, Alan Townsend, October 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0033

Analysing the Impact of Public Capital Stock Using the NEG Wage Equation: A Panel Data Approach
Bernard Fingleton, Miguel Gómez-Antonio, June 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0024

Common and Spatial Drivers in Regional Business Cycles
Michael Artis, Christian Dreger, Konstantin Kholodilin, April 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0022

Simulating Wages and House Prices Using the NEG
Bernard Fingleton, April 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0021

In Search of 'W'
Richard Harris, Victoria Kravtsova, March 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0017

Does Urbanisation Affect Rural Poverty? Evidence from Indian Districts
Massimiliano Cali, Carlo Menon, February 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0014

Prediction Using Panel Data Regression with Spatial Random Effects
Bernard Fingleton, September 2008
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0007

Testing the NEG Model: Further Evidence from Panel Data
Bernard Fingleton, August 2008
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0005

Globalisation and history

Cheap Imports and the Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs
Abigail Cooke, Thomas Kemeny, David Rigby, November 2013
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0148

Trade Liberalisation Does Not Always Raise Wage Premia: Evidence from Ugandan Districts
Massimiliano Calì, June 2012
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0114

Regional Manufacturing Wages: Dancing to the Tune of Trade Shocks
Filipe Lage de Sousa, April 2010
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0046

The Impact of Immigration on Occupational Wages: Evidence from Britain
Stephen Nickell, Jumana Saleheen, October 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0034

Trade, Wages and Productivity
Kristian Behrens, Giordano Mion, Yasusada Murata, Jens Südekum, October 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0029

Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the "New" Gains from Trade
Gregory Corocs, Massimo Del Gatto, Giordano Mion, G.I.P. Ottaviano, October 2009
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0028

Urban Growth Drivers in a Europe of Sticky People and Implicit Boundaries
Paul Cheshire, Stefano Magrini, November 2008
SERC Discussion Paper SERCDP0010