I joined the City-REDI team as a research fellow in May 2021. The focus of my role is to develop and exploit the economic modelling capabilities of the institute.
Prior to joining City-REDI, I have had the opportunity to work with different organisations across diverse research areas. In 2018, I worked at a London-based not-for-profit organisation to develop an interdisciplinary forum on monetary systems reform. In early 2020, I joined the University of Maine, USA, as a visiting researcher working on the regionalisation of national input-output tables to sub-regions for applied economic analysis. In 2020, I joined the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde, supporting research and refining my sub-regional modelling approach.
My academic background is as an economic geographer. I completed my bachelors in economics at the University of Plymouth, my MSc and (shortly) PhD at Cardiff University. My PhD examined the contribution of creative industries in the economic development of the Cardiff city region. I used input-output tables and interviews to understand the economic character of the creative industries and the extent to which the sector can be evaluated in an economic framework for policy intervention.
My work will support colleagues across the institute and wider university by providing economic analysis by contributing to developing and disseminating the Socio Economic Impact Model for the UK (SEIM-UK model). One such project to support the WM REDI theme Firms and Industrial Demography explores the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive sector in the West Midlands.
Additionally, I will be leading the institute’s work on creative industries building on our partnership with the AHRC funded Creative Economy Policy & Evidence Centre (PEC). This work will explore; the nuances behind the spatial distribution of creative industries, the role of institutions (particularly Higher Education Institutions) in developing the creative clusters and the potential for creating place-specific satellite accounts to represent the embeddedness of the sector in each region.
I believe that there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in regional economics. The geography of inequality and discontent in the UK and its levelling-up is of central policy importance. It is the job of City-REDI to provide the evidence and analysis from which policy will be shaped.
This blog was written by Matt Lyons, Research Fellow, City-REDI / WM REDI, University of Birmingham.
The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI / WM REDI or the University of Birmingham.