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School of Business and Management

Dr Thomas Kemeny


Reader in Economic Development

Room Number: Room 4.43, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus




Dr. Tom Kemeny is Reader (Associate Professor) in Economic Development in the School of Business and Management at QMUL. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics’ International Inequalities Institute. He has held academic appointments at the University of Southampton, LSE, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his PhD from UCLA. 

Tom’s prize-winning research is focused on cities and the deep determinants of uneven development. His recent work considers long-run patterns of technological change as a driver of spatial and interpersonal inequality. In seeking to explore what shapes regional prosperity, he explores the roles of specialization, trade, immigration, innovation and social institutions. He was awarded the Understanding Society Paper Prize in 2019 for his study of Brexit and internal migration. In 2015, his book, The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles, was published by Stanford University Press.  

For more information, visit his website:



  • BUS135: Quantitative Analysis for Business




Research Interests:

  • Cities and regional development
  • Inequality
  • Local labour markets
  • International trade 
  • Immigration
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship

Centre and Group Membership:



Selected recent publications

  • Local Job Multipliers Revisited (2021), Journal of Regional Science. (with Taner Osman).
  • Does assimilation shape the economic value of immigrant diversity? 2021, Economic Geography. DOI 10.1080/00130095.2021.1897462 (with Silje Haus-Reve, Abigail Cooke and Rune Dahl Fitjar).
  • The Fall and Rise of Interregional Inequality: Explaining Shifts from Convergence to Divergence, 2020, Italian Journal of Regional Science. DOI 10.14650/97084 (with Michael Storper).
  • Creative Differences? Measuring Creative Economy Employment in the US and UK, 2019, Regional Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2019.1625484 (with Max Nathan and Dave O’Brien).
  • Vulnerable Jobs and the Wage Effects of Import Competition, 2019, Industrial Relations. DOI: 10.1111/irel.12240 (with Abigail Cooke and David Rigby).
  • The Wider Impacts of High-Technology Employment: Evidence from U.S. Cities, 2018, Research Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.06.005 (with Taner Osman).
  • Immobility and the Brexit Vote, 2018, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. DOI: 10.1093/cjres/rsx027 (with Neil Lee and Katy Morris).  Winner, 2019 Understanding Society Paper Prize
  • Spillovers from Immigrant Diversity in Cities, 2017, Journal of Economic Geography. DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbx012 (with Abigail Cooke).
  • The Economic Geography of Immigrant Diversity: Disparate Impacts and New Directions, 2017, Geog- raphy Compass. DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12331 (with Abigail Cooke).
  • Cities, Immigrant Diversity and Complex Problem Solving, 2017, Research Policy. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2017.05.003 (with Abigail Cooke).
  • Urban Immigrant Diversity and Inclusive Institutions, 2017, Economic Geography. DOI: 10.1080/00130095.2017.1300056 (with Abigail Cooke).
  • Plant Exit and U.S. Imports from Low-Wage Countries, 2016, International Economics. DOI: 10.1016/j.inteco.2016.09.001 (with David Rigby and Abigail Cooke).
  • The Economic Value of Local Social Networks, 2016 Journal of Economic Geography. DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbv043 (with Maryann Feldman, Frank Ethridge and Ted Zoller).→ Winner, 2016 Urban Land Institute Prize, best paper published in the Journal of Economic Geography.
  • Economic Development: A Definition and Model for Investment, 2016, Environment and Planning C. DOI: 10.1177/0263774X15614653 (with Maryann Feldman, Theodora Hadjimichael, and Lauren Lanahan)



  • Transitions in Regional Economic Development. (2018) Co-edited with Ivan Turok, David Bailey, Jennifer Clark, Jun Du, Ugo Fratesi, Michael Fritsch, John Harrison, Dieter Kogler, Arnoud Lagendijk, Tomas Mickiewicz, Ernest Miguelez, Stefano Usai, and Fiona Wishlade.  Routledge, London.
  • Storper, M., Kemeny, T., Osman, T., and Makarem, N. (2015) The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto.


Chapters in edited volumes

  • Kemeny, T. (2011) The American South in the Global Economy. In: A Way Forward: Building a Globally Competitive South. Daniel Gitterman & Peter Coclanis, eds. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, p.73-78.
  • Kemeny, T. (2010) Technological Change, Geography of. In: The Encyclopedia of Geography, B. Warf, ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.


Book reviews & editorials

  • Aoyama, Y., Powell, W.W., Saxenian, A., Scott, A.J., Storper, M., Kemeny, T., Makarem, N.P. and Osman, T. (2017) The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles. The AAG Review of Books, 5(2), p.146-157. DOI: 10.1080/2325548X.2017.1292591
  • Turok, I., Bailey, D., Clark, J. Du, J., Fratesi, U., Fritsch, M., Harrison, J., Kemeny, T., Kogler, D., Lagendijk, A., Mickiewicz, T., Miguelez, E., Usai, S., Wishlade., F. (2017) Global reversal, regional revival? Regional Studies; DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2016.1255720
  • Storper, M., Kemeny, T., Osman, T., and Makarem, N. (2016) On Specialization, Divergence and Evolution: A Brief Response to Ron Martin’s Review. Regional Studies; DOi: 10.1080/00343404.2016.1183975.


Current Doctoral Students:

2nd Supervisor

  • Hongwei Peng, 'Predicting young scientists’ potential impact based on academic network.'

Public Engagement

Tom serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Regional Studies, and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Economic Geography. He has advised governments and NGOs on issues of regional and international development, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and the World Bank. 


His work on local social networks won the 2016 Urban Land Institute Prize, awarded for the best paper published in the Journal of Economic Geography. 

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