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A new report on “Recession Britain”

September 22, 2009

Earlier this month, a new report, called “Recession Britain”, was published by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).  The report looks at what we can learn from the most recent recessions experienced in Britain, to try and help those working to relieve the effect of the downturn on jobs, businesses and people’s lives.

The conclusions reached in the report are based largely on the academic research that ESRC funds.  ARO and the regional observatories have worked with ESRC in the past to make sure that the research that goes on at regional level feeds into the evidence-gathering and analysis that happens in academia; and to give researchers in the public sector and higher education a chance to connect and work together.

Some conclusions from the report:

  • House prices may fall for a further three years.  With fewer houses on the market, buyers find it hard to match their needs and wishes, and so drop out of the housing market, thereby fuelling a further price decline.
  • Existing regional disparities in the labour market are unlikely to be affected by the recession.  The South East was hardest hit in the recession of the 1990s, suggesting it is very capable of “bouncing back” if hit hard this time.
  • Charitable giving:  the proportion of individual income given to charity is likely to remain generally constant, as it did during the Great Depression. In Britain’s 1980s recession, there was no obvious effect on the average amount of household donations.

For more highlights of the report, and for access to the full publication, please see the ESRC press release page.

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