GY415      Half Unit
Local Capacity and Economic Development Policy

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Simona Iammarino STC S410


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Human Geography and Urban Studies (Research), MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies and MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is freely available to all MSc students in the Department of Geography & Environment. The course is available subject to availability for all other MSc students.

Course content

This course is aimed at understanding the micro foundations of local economic development, that is the determinants and effects of the behaviour, strategies and choices of key economic actors: local firms, both small and large, multinational enterprises, universities and other education and research organisations, government bodies, NGOs, local communities, etc. The study of different theoretical approaches, empirical evidence and implications of the behaviour of such actors, and their interactions and linkages, will help building up the analytical framework to interpret the genesis of local economic systems, their dynamics and evolution over time and the policy options available, particularly, but not exclusively, from a bottom-up perspective. We will make use of an extended array of empirical examples and case studies – and the transferability of their lessons across space and time – across regions and industries, both in advanced and emerging economies. The course is particularly concerned with 'bottom-up' approaches and focuses on locally initiated and managed processes which may involve a wide range of actors in shaping and implementing local economic development initiatives.


18 hours of lectures and 18 hours of workshops in the LT. 2 hours of lectures and 2 hours of workshops in the ST.

The 2-hour Lecture and Workshop in the ST will be centred on Revision and Q&A for the exam.

Formative coursework

One optional Mock exam to be submitted normally by week 6 in the Lent Term, as it will be announced. Feedback and indicative classification will be provided at the end of the Lent Term.

Indicative reading

The course is mainly based on academic articles and papers. Some chapters will also be used from books such as: A. Pike, A. Rodriguez-Pose & J. Tomaney, Local and Regional Development, 2006; B-A. Lundvall, KJ Joseph, C. Chaminade & J. Vang (eds.), Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries, 2009; R Boschma and R Martin The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, 2010;  J Cantwell & E Amann (eds.), Innovative Firms in Emerging Market Countries, 2012; S Iammarino & P McCann Multinationals and Economic Geography. Location, Technology and Innovation, 2013; R Crescenzi and M Percoco (eds), Geography, Institutions and Regional Economic Performance, 2013.

In general, all readings are electronically available from the LSE Library unless otherwise indicated.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 3.6
Merit 42.9
Pass 50
Fail 3.6

Teachers' comment

From 2013/14, GY415  was  revised by its new Course Manager/Teacher and so it is expected that in future the mark distribution will be more  evenly distributed across the whole range of classifications.  At present  only two of the three years surveyed have been under the present Course Manager.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: 48

Average class size 2014/15: 48

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: %



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)