Published on 28 February 2022
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Will Levelling Up Work?

Rory Cellan-Jones talks to Professor Michael Kenny, Dame Fiona Reynolds and Dr Sylvain Chabé-Ferret about the UK's and other countries' approaches to tackling regional inequalities.

The UK is currently one of the most regionally unequal countries in the developed world. The government’s White Paper on Levelling Up sets out 12 “missions” to increase economic opportunities across all regions.

The UK is far from the first country to try and “level up” regional areas. Countries including France, Germany and China are also making efforts to tackle similar regional inequalities.

But just how easy is it to tackle regional economic imbalances for levelling up to work?

Rory Cellan-Jones talks to Sylvain Chabé-Ferret from the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, and Professor Michael Kenny and Dame Fiona Reynolds from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy about just how far public policies can really go to address regional inequalities.

Listen to this episode on your preferred podcast platform including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Episode 5 transcript

The Crossing Channels podcast series is produced by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy and IAST.

Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse #CrossingChannels

Audio production by Steve Hankey.

Podcast editing by Annabel Manley

More about our guests:
  • Professor Michael Kenny is the inaugural director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, and leads its Policy and Engagement programme on ‘Place’. He is leading research projects on left-behind communities, social infrastructure and devolution, and is writing a book about the UK’s constitutional future.
  • Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE is the Chair of the Management Board for the Bennett Institute, and chair of the National Audit Office and Chair of the Governing Council of the Royal Agricultural University.
  • Dr Sylvain Chabé-Ferret is Assistant Professor at the Toulouse School of Economics, Research Fellow at Inrae and member of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse.  He specialises in the econometrics of causal inference with applications to the evaluation of Payments for Environmental Services and of Job Training Programs. Sylvain has also set The Social Science Knowledge Accumulation Initiative (SKY), which aims to summarise evidence in social science, mainly via meta-analyses.
About our host
  • Rory Cellan-Jones was a technology correspondent for the BBC. His 40 years in journalism have seen him take a particular interest in the impact of the internet and digital technology on society and business. He has also written multiple books, including his latest “Always On” which was published in 2021.
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