Developing a Strategy for Economic Resilience in the West Midlands Combined Authority: The Role of Skills and Industrial Structure

In 2008, a severe economic crisis hit economies around the world. Its effects included a significant loss of GDP and employment which led to several social ills associated with recessions. However, the crisis did not impact all places with the same severity. 

My PhD thesis investigated the crisis impact across Local Authority Districts in Great Britain during 2008-2014 and identified factors such as skills and demographics as significant determinants of a place’s resilience performance.

Currently, there is a need to expand the list of resilience determinants and consider the policy implications for sub-national geographies. What other factors affect local economic resilience? What can local authorities do with their current powers to increase their resilience to economic shocks? What new powers do they need? These are some of the burning questions of research on the field. Answering these questions can significantly benefit the well-being of people in local areas across the UK.


The project aims to understand what factors can affect regional resilience. This will inform policymaking in improving the capacity of localities to adapt to negative shocks in the future.

Research team

  • Investigator: Dr Tasos Kitsos
  • Mentor: Professor Raquel Ortega-Argiles

Academic papers and policy briefings

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Funder/client: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Timescale: Oct 2018 to Sept 2019


Tasos KitsosProject lead: Tasos Kitsos