Brexit and the ties that blind? How global finance shapes city-level growth models.

Working paper
With Mark Blyth and Niccolo Fraccaroli

This paper contributes to the Growth Model (GM) research programme within comparative and international political economy by analysing the impact of Brexit on London and other financial centres within the EU - Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Dublin. We make two key contributions. First, we argue that for many countries, national growth models are really city-level growth models, and that this is directly observable in financial centres. Second, we argue that high-tech cities are sticky, adaptable, and do not move easily. Empirically, we test this argument with the case of Brexit, and use bank-level data from the Bureau van Dijk database to observe the movement of loans, jobs and financial assets within the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, France and Germany. Our findings suggest that whilst there have been important changes, there has not been any significant relocation away from London to EU-based financial centres. Post-Brexit, all of these financial cities have grown, suggesting that they are better conceptualized as part of a complementary global wealth chain. We conclude with some observations on what this means for GM theory within the study of political economy.


» Brexit and The Ties that Blind .pdf (PDF, 1.32 Mb)