That's your bloody GDP: Performing the city-region economy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the question-where is the economy? In taking up this question, I explore the action of economists in making the economy, framed in the place of 'place' in the economy and how the politics of economic data and calculation and boundaries make economies. In this way, I argue for a performative understanding of regional economics where the economy can be said to be made, often out of real things such as hospitals, factories, shops and schools, and infrastructure, but also out of social practices that echo out of the field of economics into institutions and ways of thinking calculatedly. To make this case of this approach, and to grasp the slippery fish of where the economy is, I introduce autoethnographic materials from my experience of being a regional economic commentator, holding forth on the Waterford economy. These empirics relay the everyday methods of economic analysis as a material and political practice, alighting on the data, calculations and boundaries that go into making the economy. Here the curious relationship between the economist and their economy, the dancer and the dance come into view and how people, including myself, call an economy into being.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Planning for the City of the Future
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781804552155
ISBN (Print)9781804552162
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2023


  • City-regions
  • Economic sociology
  • Economics
  • Performativity of economics
  • Urban economics
  • Waterford


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