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Urban futures, population ageing and demographic decline


  • Philip McCann


This article examines the geographical drivers and outcomes of demographic ageing and population decline and the possible differential impacts on cities and regions. Evidence from OECD and European Union regions and cities is used to motivate discussions about the likely long-run effects of demographic change on the efficacy of public policy to manage the population decline and the fiscal implications of trends towards governance decentralisation. As it becomes evident, there are significant, demographically driven asymmetries regarding both the fiscal underpinnings of local government and the efficacy of local land-use management and adjustment policies. In general, regions facing adverse demographic trends appear to be increasingly vulnerable over the long-term to increasing fiscal constraints, thereby limiting their ability to effectively and pragmatically manage decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip McCann, 2017. "Urban futures, population ageing and demographic decline," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 10(3), pages 543-557.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cjrecs:v:10:y:2017:i:3:p:543-557.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lewis Dijkstra & Enrique Garcilazo & Philip McCann, 2013. "The Economic Performance of European Cities and City Regions: Myths and Realities," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 334-354, March.
    2. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann & Stephen Sheppard, 2007. "Some Evidence That Women Are More Mobile Than Men: Gender Differences In U.K. Graduate Migration Behavior," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 517-539, August.
    3. Katerina Lisenkova & Marcel Mérette, 2014. "Can an Ageing Scotland Afford Independence?," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 227(1), pages 32-39, February.
    4. Fabrizio Barca & Philip McCann & Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose, 2012. "The Case For Regional Development Intervention: Place‐Based Versus Place‐Neutral Approaches," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 134-152, February.
    5. Garibaldi, Pietro & Oliveira Martins, Joaquim & van Ours, Jan (ed.), 2010. "Ageing, Health, and Productivity: The Economics of Increased Life Expectancy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199587131.
    6. Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2009. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns Be Rich?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 725-743, November.
    7. repec:sae:inrsre:v:41:y:2018:i:2:p:183-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Heike Delfmann & Sierdjan Koster & Philip McCann & Jouke Van Dijk, 2014. "Population Change and New Firm Formation in Urban and Rural Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 1034-1050, June.
    9. Jonathan Corcoran & Alessandra Faggian & Philip Mccann, 2010. "Human Capital in Remote and Rural Australia: The Role of Graduate Migration," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 192-220, June.
    10. McCann, Philip, 2013. "Modern Urban and Regional Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199582006.
    11. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann & Stephen Sheppard, 2007. "Human Capital, Higher Education and Graduate Migration: An Analysis of Scottish and Welsh Students," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(13), pages 2511-2528, December.
    12. Bianca Biagi & Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann, 2011. "Long and Short Distance Migration in Italy: The Role of Economic, Social and Environmental Characteristics," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 111-131.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7971 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann, 2006. "Human capital flows and regional knowledge assets: a simultaneous equation approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 475-500, July.
    15. David Bell & David Eiser, 2015. "The Economic Case for Further Fiscal Decentralisation to Scotland: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 233(1), pages 27-36, August.
    16. Lewis Dijkstra & Enrique Garcilazo & Philip McCann, 2015. "The effects of the global financial crisis on European regions and cities," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(5), pages 935-949.
    17. Andrew Henley, 2005. "Job Creation by the Self-employed: The Roles of Entrepreneurial and Financial Capital," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 175-196, September.
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    population; ageing; decline; urban governance;


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