In April 2004 Mitsubishi announced the closure of its Lonsdale plant in South Australia. Almost a year later, MG Rover went into administration, resulting in the immediate closure of its Longbridge plant just outside Birmingham, England. Both closures were expected to have a considerable impact on their regional economies through the loss of employment and associated economic activity. However, governments in Australia and England responded in significantly different ways: in England the focus was on competitive advantage through the modernisation of the auto cluster and the diversification of the regional economy into new, high-technology industries. In Australia, the national and state governments introduced policy responses based on the pursuit of comparative advantage. This paper compares and contrasts the two sets of government responses and examines the capacity of each to deliver long-term benefits to their affected communities.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in homas, H., Beer, A., & Bailey, D. (2008). A tale of two regions: comparative versus competitive approaches to economic restructuring. Policy studies, 29(3), 357-370. Policy studies 2008 © Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01442870802160085
- economic restructuring
- regional economy
- comparative advantage
- competitive advantage