This briefing deals with two reports summarising recent academic research on the underpinnings of economic growth, one published by the ESRC and the other by the LSE. The main themes are skills, innovation, and investment, traditionally areas in which the UK has performed badly in relation to its main international competitors.

Both reports contain a large number of policy recommendations, but the LSE report in particular focuses on why the three areas identified above have persisted as problems in the UK. They conclude that their persistence is the consequence of institutional failures, and in particular policy instability and political failings at the centre.

Links are provided at the end of this briefing to the research sites that contain the papers informing these reports.

This briefing should be of interest to councillors and officers with an interest in, or responsibility for, designing and delivering local economic development strategies, whether for the local authority or as part of a wider partnership.

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