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Has there been an economic dividend from devolution?

Armstrong, Jo and Harris, Richard and McLaren, John and Moffat, John (2012) Has there been an economic dividend from devolution? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 35 (3). pp. 58-66. ISSN 2046-5378

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Abstract

It is now over twelve years since the restoration of Scotland's parliament, after a hiatus of almost three centuries. Sufficient time has therefore elapsed that it is possible to provide some evidence on whether Scotland's economy has indeed performed better under devolution. Thus we look at productivity, GVA per head, employment, and R&D to see if there has been any relative improvement post-1999. Having done this, two of the channels through which devolution may affect these variables will be discussed: the composition of expenditure and policy innovation2. This is particularly timely given that the UK and Scottish parliaments are currently considering proposals which will give further fiscal powers to the Scottish parliament, and the Scottish government is planning to hold a referendum on full independence in the autumn of 2014.