Dr Max Nathan

Max works at NIESR and at LSE, where he is a Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth and a Research Fellow at the Spatial Economics Research Centre. He has over 15 years’ experience working in UK think tanks, consultancy and public policy.

Research Interests

Max’s research interests include spatial economics, innovation systems, economics of immigration and diversity, economic development, urban policy


2011 – PhD Economic Geography and Spatial Economics, LSE
1998 – MSc Social Policy and Planning, LSE
1997 – BA(Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Oxford


Senior Research Fellow, NIESR

Deputy Director, What Works Centre on Local Economic Growth

Research Fellow, SERC, London School of Economics

Research Fellow, IZA

2007-2010 – DCLG-ESRC Senior Policy Adviser, Department of Communities and Local Government
2004-2007 – Head of Research, Centre for Cities
2000-2004 – Senior Researcher, The Work Foundation
1998-2000 – Research Assistant, CLES

Additional Information

Most recently he worked at the Department of Communities and Local Government as an ESRC-DCLG Senior Policy Adviser, covering a range of economic development and governance issues. In 2004 Max helped set up the Centre for Cities think tank, where he ran the research programme. He is an Associate at the Centre for London and the Institute for Public Policy Research, and a Research Fellow at IZA.


Selected Publications

“Creative Clusters and Creative Spillovers” (2022) (with D. Gutierrez-Posada, A. Kitsos and M. Nuccio). Economic Geography. https://doi.org/10.1080/00130095.2022.2094237

“Modelling Clusters from the Ground Up: A Web Data Approach” (2022) (with C. Stich and E. Tranos). Environment & Planning B. https://doi.org/10.1177/23998083221108185

“Incubators, Accelerators and Urban Economic Development” (2022) (with M. Madaleno, H. Overman and S. Waights). Urban Studies. 59:2, pp 281-300.

“Innovative Events” (2022) (with A. Rosso). Research Policy. 51(1), pp 104373.

“The City and the Virus” (2021). Urban Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/00420980211058383

‘Do Inventors Talk to Strangers? On proximity and knowledge creation’ (with Riccardo Crescenzi and Andrés Rodriguez-Pose), forthcoming in Research Policy.

‘Mapping digital businesses with Big Data: Some early lessons from the UK’ (with Anna Rosso), Research Policyin press.

‘Same Difference? Ethnic inventors, diversity and innovation in the UK’ (2015), Journal of Economic Geography, 15 (1): pp 129-168.

‘After Florida: Towards an economics of diversity’ (2015). European Urban and Regional Studies, 22:1 pp 3-19.

‘Here Be Startups: Exploring a young digital cluster in Inner East London’ (2014) (with Emma Vandore), Environment and Planning A, 46:10 pp 2283 – 2299.

‘Urban Economics and Urban Policy’ (2014) (ed. with Paul Cheshire and Henry Overman). Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.

‘The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A review of the literature for receiving countries’ (2014), IZA Journal of Migration, 3:4.

‘Agglomeration, Clusters and Industrial Policy’ (2013) (with Henry Overman). Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 29:2, pp 383-404.

‘Diversity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from London firms’ (2013) (with Neil Lee).  Economic Geography, 89:4, pp 367-394.

‘East London Tech City: Ideas without a Strategy?’ (2011). Local Economy, 26:3, pp 197-202.

Book chapters

“The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth: Some lessons from the first 10 years” (with D. Mason and H. Overman), in J. Breckon, M. Saunders and E. Whelan (eds.), The What Works Network.
Forthcoming, Policy Press.

“The Urban Economics of Superdiversity”, in F. Meissner, N. Sigona and S. Vertovec (2022) (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Superdiversity, Oxford: OUP.

“Proximity and Collaborative Knowledge Creation” (with R. Cresenzi and A. RodríguezPose). In A. Torre and D. Gallaud (2022) (eds), Handbook of Proximity Relations, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.