Practice Running Ahead of Theory? Political Economy and the Economic Lessons of UK Devolution

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Abstract

Advocates of political decentralisation make much of its supposed ‘economic dividends’. Critics of this argument, while acknowledging the possible benefits, suggest that the specific ‘institutional geography’ under which devolution operates is crucial. In short, the Institutionalist critique is that economic outcomes are contingent on the way devolved institutions are designed. The institutional geography of contemporary UK devolution, as well as the historical case of Northern Irish devolution (1920s-1972), is analysed in this paper. Contemporary and historical evidence as well as theoretical material presented provides further support for the hypothesis that institutional structures are crucial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-573
Number of pages15
JournalCambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Volume10
Issue number3
Early online date22 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017

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