I joined City-REDI / WMREDI in August 2021 as a Research Fellow. I have recently completed my PhD. I studied in the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics under the supervision of Professors Simona Iammarino and Michael Storper. My PhD explored drivers of regional income differences in the UK. After spending four years studying regional inequality from a macro perspective, I’m looking forward to diving into the West Midlands region. The first project that I’m working on explores the impact of “STEM assets”, such as research labs, businesses, employment, incomes and skills in the region. Beyond that, I’m curious to learn more about the region’s industries, businesses, economic challenges and opportunities. However, what I’m really looking forward to is leaving the spreadsheets and databases aside and explore Birmingham and the wider region from City-REDI / WMREDI’s new base in The Exchange building in Centenary Square.
While working on my PhD, I collaborated on several projects with colleagues at the LSE. With Riccardo Crescenzi, Simona Iammarino, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, and Michael Storper, I co-authored a report on the global geography of innovation hotspots and networks that was commissioned by the World Intellectual Property Organization. With Maryann Feldman (University of North Carolina), Frederick Guy (Birkbeck) and Simona Iammarino, I wrote a paper on the geography of the market for high-tech start-ups in the United States, which is currently under revision at the Journal of Economic Geography. With colleagues at the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, I’m working on an evaluation of the impact of Enterprise Zones in the UK on business growth, productivity and employment.
Further stops during my PhD journey included an internship at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2019 and a visit to the Luskin School for Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020. Less glamorously, I spent many long hours in the secure data lab at the Office for National Statistics, cut off from WIFI and phone services (and daylight and oxygen – whatever it takes), assessing confidential business and income data that my research relied on. I’m an accredited researcher with the Secure Research Service and am experienced with a wide range of ONS surveys and datasets. I hope that this experience will also be useful for my work at City-REDI.
Before starting my PhD, I worked as an analyst at Belmana Ltd in London, where I worked on policy evaluations, especially of business support measures for central and local government. I graduated from the London School of Economics with an MSc in Economic History (Research) and Maastricht University with a BSc in International Economics.
This blog was written by Dr Carolin Ioramashvili, Research Fellow, City-REDI / WMREDI, University of Birmingham.
The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI / WMREDI or the University of Birmingham.