The notion of 'resilience' has recently risen to prominence in several disciplines, and has also entered policy discourse. Yet the meaning and relevance of the concept are far from settled matters. This paper develops the idea of resilience and examines its usefulness as an aid to understanding the reaction of regional economies to major recessionary shocks. But in so doing, it is also argued that the notion of resilience can usefully be combined with that of hysteresis in order to more fully capture the possible reactions of regional economies to major recessions. These ideas are then used as the basis for a preliminary empirical analysis of the UK regions.
Over the past few years a new buzzword has entered academic, political and public discourse: the notion of resilience, a term invoked to describe how an entity or system responds to shocks and disturbances. Although the concept has been used for some time in ecology and psychology, it is now invoked in diverse contexts, both as a perceived (and typically positive) attribute of an object, entity or system and, more normatively, as a desired feature that should somehow be promoted or fostered. As part of this development, the notion of resilience is rapidly becoming part of the conceptual and analytical lexicon of regional and local economic studies: there is increasing interest in the resilience of regional, local and urban economies. Further, resilience is rapidly emerging as an idea 'whose time has come' in policy debates: a new imperative of 'constructing' or 'building' regional and urban economic resilience is gaining currency. However, this rush to use the idea of regional and local economic resilience in policy circles has arguably run somewhat ahead of our understanding of the concept. There is still considerable ambiguity about what, precisely, is meant by the notion of regional economic resilience, about how it should be conceptualized and measured, what its determinants are, and how it links to patterns of long-run regional growth. The aim of this paper is to address these and related questions on the meaning and explanation of regional economic resilience and thereby to outline the directions of a research agenda.
This article argues that in its "canonical" form, the path dependence model, with its core concept of lock-in, affords a restrictive and narrowly applicable account of regional and local industrial evolution, an account moreover that is tied to problematic underpinnings based on equilibrist thinking. As such, the canonical path dependence model actually stresses continuity rather than change. The article explores recent developments in political science, in which there have been active attempts to rethink the application of path dependence to the evolution of institutions so as to emphasize change rather than continuity. These developments are used to argue for a rethinking of path dependence ideas in economic geography. Copyright (c) 2010 Clark University.
This paper examines how employment in the major UK regions has reacted to the four major recessions of the last forty years, namely 1974-67, 1979-83, 1990-93 and 2008-10. The notions of resistance and recoverability are used to examine these reactions. The analysis reveals both continuities and significant changes in the regional impact of recession from one economic cycle to the next. Further, while economic structure is found to have exerted some influence on the resistance and recoverability of certain regions, in general 'region-specific' or 'competitiveness' effects appear to have played an equally, if not more, significant role.
We analyze the resilience of U.K. regions to employment shocks. Two basic notions of resilience are distinguished. With engineering resilience, there is an underlying stable growth path to which a regional economy rebounds following a shock. With ecological resilience, shocks can permanently affect the growth path of the regional economy. Our data set consists of quarterly employment series for 12 U.K. regions (NUTS I) for the period 1971-2010. Using a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model specification, we test for the relevance of (engineering) resilience of U.K. regional employment to the four recessionary shocks in our sample. It turns out that U.K. regions do indeed differ in their resilience, but that these differences mainly concern the initial resistance to these shocks and not so much the recovery stage. The SUR model does not allow shocks to have permanent effects and it also does not take the possibility of time differentiated shock spillovers between the 12 regions into account. To this end, we also estimate a vector error-correction model (VECM) specification where employment shocks can have permanent effects and where also interregional employment linkages are included. We find that employment shocks typically have permanent effects when it concerns the own-region effects. Permanent effects can also be found for the impact on other regions but the interregional effects are typically only significant for nearby regions.
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