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New research on understanding your local economy: a resource guide for cities

A new guide addressing the challenges of analysing local economic conditions and a city's comparative and competitive advantages by academics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the consultancy Kaiser Associates Economic Development, has been published by the Cities Alliance, with a funding from the World Bank and the Bank Netherlands Partnership Programme (BNPP).

Understanding Your Local Economy: a resource guide for cities by Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose of LSE, and Thomas Farole and Laura Dowson of LSE and Kaiser Associates Economic Development, with assistance from Pål Vik (LSE) and Glen Robbins (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa), presents practical approaches to conducting citywide and regionwide economic and competitive assessments. It includes advice on how to choose local economic development (LED) indicators and tools that can assess a local economy's competitiveness.

Professor Rodríguez-Pose said: 'The role of local authorities in developing and delivering sound LED strategies, often as part of city development and slum upgrading strategies, is crucial. Cities can better perform, and provide an environment conducive to employment and productivity, through strategies that are attuned to local economic circumstances. To design efficient city strategies, it is essential to understand a city's economic base and its constraints, as well as its competitive advantage.'

Drawing on 15 case studies, and the methods and experiences of Cities Alliance members and partners, this publication offers practical guidance to the basic components of local economic assessments and how to undertake them. It should promote the development of better informed city strategies, and help improve the economic performance of cities.

6 December 2007