We need an Inclusive Economy not Inclusive Growth

19th December 2018.

This policy provocation is for anyone who is working in public policy today. It emerges in response to a frustration with the concept and application of Inclusive Growth within economic development.

It begins by providing a critique of the concept, highlighting its lack of clarity, its lack of practical policy application and its failings to effectively tackle economic and social injustices. We argue that inclusive growth is severely limited, as it operates within the market liberal frame to growth, which is based on deregulation of markets and privatisation, austerity in public services, erosion of union rights and employee protection. As such it offers little and could be seen as mere cynical cover for an economic stasis, rather than meaningful action on social exclusion and economic injustices.

The work introduces inclusive economy as a more voracious framing of economic development. We highlight how ideas and practice surrounding new municipalism, the institutional turn and local wealth building offer a more powerful frame with a rapidly developing set of practical policy actions.

By David Burch, Researcher and Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies