Industrial policy, productivity and place: London as a ‘role model’ and High Speed 2 (HS2)

Dan Coffey, Carole Thornley, Philip R. Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


Britain’s industrial strategy, preoccupied with labour productivity, projects London as a role model because of a high gross value added (GVA) to employment ratio, an approach since followed in the national ‘levelling-up’ agenda. We demonstrate that this is misplaced: it misses the subtleties of how positive agglomeration effects act and ignores how negative effects can, for distributional reasons, cause real as well as GVA-measured productivity to rise in a misleading way. We consider the implications for both London and infrastructure projects designed to reduce productivity differentials by improving connectivity with other cities, such as the ambitious but flawed High Speed 2 (HS2).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1183
Number of pages13
JournalRegional Studies
Issue number6
Early online date29 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023


  • High Speed 2 (HS2)
  • agglomeration
  • gross value added
  • industrial policy
  • labour productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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