Rural businesses and levelling up: A rural-urban analysis of business innovation and exporting in England's north and midlands

Pattanapong Tiwasing*, Matthew Gorton*, Jeremy Phillipson*, Sara Maioli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In the face of persistent and widening regional imbalances in economic and social outcomes, the UK Government seeks to ‘level up’ less prosperous communities, reigniting debates on the relationships between geography and business innovation. A key question concerns whether cities provide a more favourable environment for business innovation and exporting. However, the comparative performance of urban and rural Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) within less prosperous regions has received little attention. Using Longitudinal Small Business Survey data, we apply Propensity Score Matching to study urban-rural differences in SME performance in the North and Midlands of England. The findings reveal no systematic, significant differences in goods, service and process innovation or exporting between rural and urban SMEs, suggesting that the emphasis on urban focused growth in the levelling up agenda appears misplaced.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103007
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume100
Early online date7 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2023

Keywords

  • Export performance
  • Innovation
  • Midlands Engine
  • Northern Powerhouse
  • Rural-urban analysis
  • Treatment effect analysis

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