This ‘weight’ of the housing sector is recognised in macroeconomic studies of aggregate demand, multiplier effects and cyclical instabilities. However, productivity consequences are ignored.

About the study

This study provides a new approach to both addressing how housing outcomes impact the productivity behaviours and performance of households and firms and improving the ‘housing’ dimension of regional studies of economic change.

Housing has multiple characteristics including size, location, neighbourhood context and price/rent and system outcomes have implications for productivity. Recent work (Maclennan et al, 2015; 2018) indicates housing outcomes impact growth drivers: small, low quality homes impair the educational performance of children, some neighbourhood effects harm school-work transitions and constrained housing choices deepen spatial labour market mismatches.

Housing prices may impact the use of capital and housing assets and neighbourhood outcomes small firm innovation possibilities. In growth localities rising housing prices/rents impact the price and availability of labour and the location choices of firms.

Housing, and infrastructure, policy approaches have failed to take account of housing as essential economic infrastructure and within national and local governments policies for economic development, housing and planning have failed to grasp the growth and productivity effects of housing outcomes.

The study offers a better conversation about productivity and a new narrative for housing policies.


The following documents provide some background context to the project.


For more details on the project, please contact:

Dr Linda Christie
Public Policy Associate
Policy Scotland, University of Glasgow

Mary Raymer
Policy & Research Analyst
Places for People

Meetings and workshops


  • Edinburgh Workshop: 11.11.19
  • Newcastle Workshop: 12.11.19
  • Cambridge Workshop: 13.11.19