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Manufacturing activities in Greater London: The planning implications of productivity-led employment decline in the 1980s.

Graham, Daniel Joseph (1997) Manufacturing activities in Greater London: The planning implications of productivity-led employment decline in the 1980s. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Between 1981 and 1991 manufacturing employment in London declined by just under 50%, a loss of over 325,000 jobs. Relative to Great Britain, the employment performance of London's industry has been poor in the extreme. Much previous research has addressed the issue of urban manufacturing decline, and a variety of competing explanations have been put forward to explain the general observation that cities have been losing manufacturing at an extremely fast rate relative to small towns and rural areas. Despite the wealth of literature that exists, much remains unknown about what is actually happening to London's manufacturing and also why London's industrial jobs are being lost in such a severe and consistent manner. This thesis explores the dimensions of manufacturing employment change in London over the 1980s, highlighting some important processes which have characterised and underpinned industrial change. It does so in relation to a set of local authority land use planning policies which have attempted to protect manufacturing jobs. Using survey based methods, the thesis shows that while many borough planning authorities have explicitly pursued these policies over the 1980s, the majority believe that they have not been successful in protecting manufacturing jobs. Through an examination of a variety of different indicators of change, the thesis uncovers the empirical context within which planning policies have operated over the 1980s. It shows that the experience of manufacturing change in the capital is not only one of decline and that contradictory and inconsistent trends appear to have taken place. The thesis demonstrates that many of these inconsistent trends may be reconciled with respect to changing labour productivity, which provides a useful perspective on the nature of manufacturing change in the capital. Through the use of econometric techniques and data analysis, the thesis shows that labour productivity in London is characterised by a highly waged, and highly skilled manufacturing sector, with an overall low ratio of labour to capital. The thesis argues that labour productivity growth encapsulates a variety of processes which offer sound reasons for the lack of success of employment protection policies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Economics, Labor
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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