Conference details

The conference will focus on how regions and sub regions in the UK, Europe and the USA have differed in their response to, and recovery from, successive major economic recessions, and the extent to which these differences in response and recovery have affected long-run regional and sub-regional growth paths. A particular focus will be on the current crisis and recession, and how the geographies of this compare to those of the downturns of the early-1980s and early-1990s. The conference will also contribute to the development of policies aimed at building local economic resilience.

The conference will draw upon research being carried out by a Cambridge-Southampton based team on an ESRC funded project How do Regions React to Recession: Resilience, Hysteresis and Long-term Impacts and conducted under the aegis of the Cambridge-based Centre for Geographical Economic Research ( This conference expects contributions from researchers on cognate projects being funded by ESPON, and the European Research Council.

It is envisaged that papers selected from the presentations will form the basis of a special issue of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society  (, an international journal based in Cambridge, published under the auspices of the Cambridge Political Economy Society.

The conference will attract several constituencies: academics working in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, and the USA; policy representatives of UK Government Departments (BIS, DCLG), the OECD and the European Commission (DG Regio); representatives from the English Local Enterprise Partnerships, and delegates from the business community.


Topics covered in the conference will include:

  • The long-run empirics of local economic growth
  • Understanding the determinants of local economic growth
  • The resilience of local economies to recession
  • The local impacts of fiscal austerity
  • Policies for local economic growth

Conference organisers

Michael Kitson, Judge Business School
Professor Ron Martin, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Professor Peter Tyler, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
Professor Peter Sunley, School of Geography and Environment, University of Southampton
Ben Gardiner, Cambridge Econometrics and Department of Geography, University of Cambridge