Archive for the ‘Economics & Development’ Category

The impact of spending cuts on women

January 22, 2013

Special Issue: Women and the local economy

From Local Economy

This Special Issue looks at the subject of gender, an important but often neglected issue in local economic development and takes the view that gender equality is a social justice issue and has significant implications for the way we conceive both the processes and outcomes of local economic development.


New WalMart stores put large retailers out of business, mom-and-pop stores less affected

November 13, 2012

Special Focus Issue: WalMart

From Economic Development Quarterly

Ranked as one of America’s largest corporations and the largest private employer in the United States, some say that WalMart stores are catalysts for economic growth in U.S. communities, while others claim that they can have damaging effects on local shops. However, this special focus issue finds that it is the larger retailers such as Ames Department Stores, Sears, and Kmart that lose business with the arrival of a new WalMart store, while smaller retailers are not affected to the same extent. “Wal-Mart predominantly might be replacing stores already characterized by nonlocal management,” wrote the authors. “This seems to contradict a widely held belief that Wal-Mart hurts locally owned subsidiary business establishments.” Using Indiana as a case study, researchers studied the financial impact of new WalMart stores on establishments nearby. They found that competing stores with 49 or fewer employees were affected very little after a Wal-Mart was opened in the county and competing stores with 50 to 99 employees received a very small negative impact, while stores with 100 to 249 workers closed at a rate of about .5 stores per year, and competing stores with over 250 workers closed at a rate of 1.5 stores per year.


Welfare reform and labour market activation

July 27, 2012

Special Issue

From Local Economy

In 2010, the UK’s Coalition Government published its White Paper on welfare reform. A think-tank established by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions generated documents on a number of shortcomings identified in the existing system, the proposals formed the basis for the introduction of the Welfare Reform Bill. The overriding concern with debt reduction has undoubtedly shaped the character of these reforms. Articles in this special issue consider the policies aimed to address poor incentives to work, unsustainable costs, and demonstrate an emphasis on the encouragement of desirable behaviour. The issue takes the opportunity to question both the specific character of the British reform process and the direction of reform more generally.


Study finds fastest growing cities not the most prosperous

July 25, 2012

Relationship between growth and prosperity in 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas

From Economic Development Quarterly 

As communities seek new ways to emerge from the recession, many may look to growing their population as a strategy. However, the belief that population growth will bring jobs and economic prosperity for local residents is a myth according to this study. The author examined the relationship between growth and economic prosperity in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2009 to determine whether certain benefits commonly attributed to growth are supported by statistical data. He found that the slowest-growing metro areas had lower unemployment rates, lower poverty rates, higher income levels, and were less impacted by the recession than the fastest-growing areas. In fact, in 2009, local residents of slower-growing areas averaged $8,455 more per capita in personal income than those of the fastest-growing areas.

The study concluded with a comparison of the 25 slowest-growing metro areas with the 25 fastest growing from 2000 to 2009. The slowest growing areas were located in 13 different states, including Connecticut, New York, and Ohio while the fastest-growing areas came from 12 different states, dominated by California, Florida, and Texas.


The rich are getting richer and the poor are staying poor: U.S. income distribution

March 1, 2012

Who are the winners and the losers? Transitions in the U.S. household income distribution

From Review of Radical Political Economics 

People all over the world have spent almost six months in front of universities, public parks, banks, and even Wall Street to publicly protest their dissatisfaction with economic inequality. But how much disparity really exists between the rich and poor in the United States? This study  reveals it might be more than you would think. It analyzed surveys of US households from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Looking at differences among fifths of the U.S. population it found that when the U.S. economy prospers, there is an uphill flow of income to households in the upper section while the majority of households in middle and lower income groups do not see an increase in income at all. This of course affects US households when the economy slows down. The data suggests that those households at the bottom appear to be stuck or in some cases may even slide further into the depths of poverty. “It can be argued that households in the upper portion of the income distribution are better positioned, or even favored, to reap the benefits from growth, further widening the income gap between rich and poor,” wrote the author. “Richer households are getting richer, the poorer households are staying poor, and those middle-income households continue to move about chasing the elusive American dream.”


London’s Olympic legacy: The challenges of long term sustainability

February 23, 2012

London’s Olympic legacy and the Imagine methodology

From Local Economy

The London Olympics is a major urban regeneration project with a budget of 9.345 bn. The site itself will have a major impact on the city as a whole. Previous studies have shown that legacy can be a significant issue. Studies have suggested the London Olympic project is one of the biggest urban regeneration projects in Europe. This development is already having an impact on the lives of residents and this is not always positive. Another in our series of articles highlighting various aspects of Olympic Games to celebrate the countdown to 2012, this article describes the process adopted in the analysis of the Olympic Village’s transformation from World Media Site to a sustainable part of the Greater London metropolis, considering the challenges of longer term sustainability.


Summing up the financial crisis hitting the eurozone

November 30, 2011

The Euro Crisis

From Local Economy

In the light of recent developments, like the rise of new Greek Prime Minister Papademos, current commentators on the euro crisis can be read with new eyes.  This review article The euro crisis  sums up and analyses some key books both looking at the history of the eurozone and trying to understand the fiscal crisis in Europe.  Ireland and Greece (see also this article for further comments on the Greek experience) are given particular attention.  The author agrees with commentator Matthew Lynn that Eurozone might be a ‘deeply flawed project’, but suggests a tougher, better Eurozone might just emerge from the crisis.


How Paul McCartney and Liverpool FC seduced China and in doing so Liverpool is set to reap economic benefits of many millions

August 10, 2011

L iverpool at Shanghai: The Expo experience 

From Local Economy 

The city of  Liverpool made a bold move in investing in exhibiting at the 2010 World Expo in its twin city of Shanghai, China. Liverpool was the only city in the UKto take the decision to promote itself there.  The city is beginning to reap the benefits both of inward investment, and of a higher profile in, and strengthened relationships with China. Its display at the pavilion included a wall of music, football from Liverpooland Everton football clubs including the opportunity for guests to have a photo taken with soccer stars past and present, and a welcome from Sir Paul McCartney. The ‘Macca message’ was one of more than 80 films created by Liverpool’s River Motion Group and preceded an introductory 3-D film featuring a Chinese dragon and a Liver Bird soaring above Liverpool. During the 184 days that Liverpool’s pavilion was open it welcomed more than 770,000 visitors. This article outlines how this experience has resulted in astounding economic benefits to Liverpool and its region predicted to be anywhere from £5.5m to £47.5m over ten years, from Chinese students and tourists as well as from increased exports and direct foreign investment.


Banks, bailouts and bonuses

March 10, 2011
Banks, bailouts and bonuses: a personal account of working in Halifax Bank of Scotland during the financial crisis

From Work, Employment & Society 

Announcements made daily about the profits of some of the banks and the humongous bonuses still being paid out to bankers, understandably rile the public. Throughout the recent global financial crisis the onus has largely been placed on the reckless behavior of the banks. Following the need for the taxpayer to bailout a significant number of them, there has been an angry call for greater regulation and increased taxes for banks. For most it is incomprehensible how the banks were able to apparently gamble and fail, yet still seem to reap rewards.  This article presents a firsthand account of the crisis from a long term union activist in the in Halifax Bank of Scotland who identifies 3 types of major change since the 1990’s which she believes are the most significant precursors to the terrible financial position we are all in now.


In search of a better life: record highs of International migration

March 9, 2011

Special Issue: Immigration

From International Journal of Comparative Sociology

International migration has reached a record high with ever-growing numbers of immigrants, labor migrants and asylum seekers leaving their homelands in search of better employment opportunities, higher economic rewards, safer political conditions and improved living standards. This special issue addresses two major aspects of immigration: immigrants in the labor market and public reac­tion to immigration.


The findings illustrate, rather clearly, the ways that economic behavior and economic success of immigrants, on the one hand, and attitudes and public reaction toward immigrants, on the other hand, are influenced not only by individual-level characteristics of the immigrants and of the local populations but also by structural characteristics of host societies.




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