Relatedness between the Creative Industries and the wider economy: A primer

03 June 2020

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​Dr Neil Lee

​Dr Neil Lee

Associate Professor in Economic Geography at London School of Economics

Dr Neil Lee is an Associate Professor in Economic ...

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The Creative Industries are seen as an key part of the knowledge economy, and policymakers invest considerable resources into developing new specialisms in the sector. The academic literature on local economic development highlights the importance of relatedness – having industries which use similar skills and/or technology – in developing new sectoral specialisms. 

This discussion paper, written by PEC researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE), provides a primer on the idea of relatedness, with a focus on implications for economic development policy and the Creative Industries. It presents new descriptive analysis on relatedness to the Creative Industries in Great Britain, and highlights the strengths and limitations of relatedness as a concept for policy. While relatedness is relevant for developing new specialisms in the Creative Industries, our results show that while relatedness does matter, it is not destiny.

Please reference this paper as:

Lee, N. (2020) Relatedness between the Creative Industries and the wider economy: a primer. London: Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and London School of Economics. Available from:

Published 3rd June 2020

Photo by Gary Butterfield of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England.