Professor Harvey Armstrong

Harvey Armstrong

Telephone (UK): 01948 666503
Telephone (International): +44 1948 666503

Harvey Armstrong took his first degree in Economics & Geography at the University of Sheffield and postgraduate education at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Subsequently he was a Lecturer at Loughborough University (Economics, 1970-1973) and a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University (Economics, 1973-1996). Between 1996 and 2009 he was Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Sheffield. He also held visiting appointments at the University of British Columbia (Economics) and the University of West Virginia (Regional Research Institute). He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Sheffield.

Research Interests

Regional and local economic disparities. Regional economic policy and its evaluation, particularly EU cohesion policy. The economics of very small states and island economies.

Current research

Regional economic policies and the economics of small states. The common theme linking the research is the application of economic principles and techniques to the analysis of spatial disparities and policies designed to mitigate these.

Regional policy and its evaluation

For many years I have undertaken research on regional economic policy issues and the evaluation of regional policy, both in the UK and the EU. From 1997 onwards I undertook, with colleagues, a series of projects concerned with the evaluation of regional policy, particularly EU regional policy. These included included participation in large scale evaluations of Structural Funds programmes in Yorkshire & the Humber region (European Commission and DETR funded) and the evaluation of community development initiatives (ESRC funded) using a combination of quantitative and qualitative evaluation techniques. These have continued with involvement with DG Regio’s evaluation unit either as a direct participant in evaluation (e.g. Aide a la Decision Economique’s evaluation of EU programmes in regions with specific geographical characteristics such as island and mountainous regions) and as external expert and adviser on number of other EU evaluations.

Very small states and island economies

Although superficially very different from sub-national regional economies, very small states and small island economies share many characteristics of regions in that they are usually small, open economies in which policymakers have only a limited range of policy levers at their disposal. This combination makes small states and islands amenable to the same types of economic analytical techniques as for regional economies. My work with Robert Read at Lancaster University on small states and islands continues, with current analysis of the impact of the 2008 financial crisis on small states underway. Prior to that I have worked on the economic performance of Greek and UK offshore islands with Dimitris Ballas.

Key Publications

  • Armstrong, H.W., and Taylor, J. (2000). Regional Economics and Policy, 3rd edition, Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Armstrong, H.W., Camagni, R., Davondi, S. and Dabinett, G.E. (2010). European territorial Cohesion Policy 2007-2013. Scienze Regionali - Italian Journal of Regional Science, 9(1), 113-122.
  • Armstrong, H.W. and Wells, P. (2006). Structural funds and the evaluation of community economic development initiatives in the UK: A critical perspective. Regional Studies, 40(2), 259-272.
  • Armstrong, H.W. and Read, R. (2003). Microstates and Subnatural Regions: Mutual Industrial Policy Lessons. International Regional Science Review, 26(1), 117-141.
  • Armstrong, H.W. (1995). Convergence Among Regions of the European Union, 1950-1990. Papers in Regional Science, 74(2), 143-152.
  • Armstrong, H.W., Fowler, A. and Mills, I. (1998). Thematic Evaluation of the 1994-1996 Yorkshire and the Humber Objective 2 Programme. In: European Commission, Proceedings of the Third European Conference on Evaluation Practices in the Field of Structural Policies, Seville, European Commission DGXVI (Regional Policies). 54-57.
    Archived PDF version

Other information

I have undertaken extensive advisory work and consultancy with international, national and European policymakers. This has included acting as Specialist Advisor to a House of Commons Select Committee on regional policy, working with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the development of Ascension Island, and membership of the Welsh Assembly Government Economic Research Advisory Panel. Over many years I have acted as expert advisor and participant in a series of EU regional policy evaluation projects, as well as participating in speaking engagements and policy conferences concerning EU regional policy, including working with the Commission on regional policy guidelines. I remain a member of the Evaluation Help Desk on EU Cohesion Policy 2014-20 programmes and occasionally act as expert advisor on individual evaluations.