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The recession and knowledge-intensive business services

Peter Wood’s Plenary Lecture in Bucharest

The recession and knowledge-intensive business services

On 21st September, Professor Peter Wood gave the Plenary Lecture at the annual International Conference of RESER, the European Association for Research on Services. The theme of the meeting, held this year at ASE, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, was Services and Economic Development: Local and Global Challenges.

Peter’s title was The recession and knowledge-intensive business services: New local and global challenges? At the global scale, drawing on work with John Salt at UCL, he pointed to the accelerating movement by major international business service organisations towards locations in growing global markets. This is challenging the pre-eminence of the ‘North Atlantic’ focus of business expertise and knowledge exchange. In national economies he noted that past research had failed to clearly establish the contribution of business services to innovation and competitiveness, and recession conditions were making this even more important to understand. Finally, he drew on recent regional data for England to show how the recession has hit business services much more severely outside London and its ‘Mega City-region’ than within it, sharply reinforcing the north-south inequalities that were already developing during the boom years.

During discussion, it was recognised that this recession may show some distinctive characteristics, as both a ‘service led’ and IT-dominated event. In future meetings, RESER should continue to monitor its progress across Europe at each of these scales.



ASE Bucharest

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