The recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has reanimated the discussion of socio-economic inequalities and livelihoods’ insecurity across the UK. There is a clear disconnect between policymaking frameworks, macroeconomic theories, and empirical exercises using national and regional statistical data, on the one hand, with the lived experiences of individuals and communities at the local level, on the other. In this paper, we conduct a mixed qualitative and quantitative comparative analysis of eight local areas across four regions in the UK to understand the interconnecting factors affecting individuals’ and communities’ quality of life and prosperity. First, we examine data from the Understanding Society survey between 2009-2018 for the same eight local areas in order to explore individuals’ lived experiences. Second, we examine the eight case study areas across a series of datasets and indices at the local authority (LA) and lower-local super output area (LSOA) levels using an integrated analytical framework based on life outcomes, life opportunities and life together (LOOT). This research approach allows us to gain a better understanding of the main drivers of intra-regional variation and its consequences for macroeconomic policy.
The independent review on The Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta has now been delivered to the government. The report underlines our failure to grasp that our economies are “embedded within Nature, and not external to it.” We rely on nature to “provide us with food, water and shelter; regulate our climate and disease; maintain nutrient cycles and oxygen production; and provide us with spiritual fulfilment and opportunities for recreation and recuperation which can enhance our health and well-being.”Read More
On 4 August 2020, a massive explosion at Beirut’s port killed at least 200 people and caused up to $15bn in damage to buildings and infrastructure – including the destruction of the public electricity company building. It was the latest blow for a country battling a 30-year energy crisis and facing chronic shortages as a result of an ageing infrastructure based around fossil fuels.Read More
In 1945, the UK’s welfare state was set up to address the want, need and misery caused by unemployment. Seventy-five years later, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had almost full employment in the UK – and yet we still have massive levels of poverty and precarity experienced by people in work.Read More