Introduction: The Prospects for Regional Disparities in the UK in Times of Brexit and Covid-19

Publication date: 29 Jul 2020 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | NIESR Author(s): Bhattacharjee, A; Nguyen, D; Venables, T | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 253 | Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Regional or spatial inequalities are a concern in most (if not all) countries and with the current ‘levellingup’ agenda they are also a priority of policymakers in the UK. Most often spatial inequalities are analysed as differences in GDP per capita or productivity at some subnational level of aggregation (e.g. regions, cities, local authorities). However, regional inequalities can have many dimensions, not all of which are apparent in standard macroeconomic measures of the economy. As well as regional differences in average income and wealth, there are differences in opportunity and job quality, health and wellbeing. Ultimately, while spatial denominations of places can sometimes feel arbitrary, there are systematic differences in the productivity and wellbeing of individuals across these spatial areas, and these merit the attention of policymakers.