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CEP discussion paper

Incubators, accelerators and regional economic development


A growing wave of co-location programmes promises to boost growth for young firms. Despite great public and policy interest we have little idea whether such programmes are effective. This paper categorises accelerators and incubators within a larger family of ‘co-location' interventions. We then develop a single framework to theorise workspace-level impacts. We summarise available evaluation evidence and sketch implications for regional economic policy. We find clear evidence programmes are effective overall. But we know little about how effects operate – or who benefits. Providers and policymakers should experiment further to establish optimal designs.


Margarida Madaleno, Max Nathan, Henry Overman and Sevrin Waights

25 September 2018     Paper Number CEPDP1575

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Urban programme.