What lessons can Labour learn from Conservative housing policy since 2010?

After what will have been fourteen years of Conservative rule, there is an increasing likelihood that a Labour government will be elected in 2024. Recent polls indicate that Labour are currently 20 points ahead of the Conservatives.[1]  This shift in public sentiment signifies a significant moment for change, diverging from the continued Conservative leadership that has […]

Bets, hedges, affordable loss and economic appraisal

In a week where the government has cut huge swathes of HS2, economic appraisal is in the spotlight again. Cost benefit analysis is the widespread tool used to assess the economic impact of public investment projects across government. It compares the benefits of a decision to its costs to understand whether it provides value for […]

Join us in welcoming Thomas Ure to Volterra

Tom joins us a Graduate Economic Consultant having recently completed a master’s degree in applied economics at the University of Bath. Tom has a particular interest in education, development and health economics. As part of his course, he recently completed a policy brief on the effects of working from home on mental and physical wellbeing, […]

An uncertain past

A significant part of our work at Volterra involves dealing with an uncertain future. Questions such as how many jobs a development will create, what strategy should an area adopt given we cannot predict how the economy will evolve, or how a new rail link will impact land use patterns around stations all require some […]

The post-pandemic workplace and office employment densities in central London

Historically, office employment densities in London have been consistently increasing as more workers have been fit into smaller spaces. It is likely that average office employment densities for prime urban areas reached as high as one full-time equivalent job per 10sqm of office space before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic (hereafter ‘the pandemic’). Ostensibly […]

If politicians keep ignoring economists, our strategies will never be cost-effective

Economists have been getting bad press because of the antics of the Bank of England and its Monetary Policy Committee. We are suffering from what we, as economists, describe as a “negative externality”. It might be convenient for you to drive your car, for example, but the emissions which this creates have a negative impact […]

Forget the polls endorsing lockdowns and look at how people actually behave

Economics is at long last storming the bastions of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). This citadel of epidemiologists and health professionals has for many months resisted the lessons which the so-called gloomy science can bring. In the context of Covid-19, economics is in fact a beacon of hope. This week, news broke of […]

Economics could teach Theresa May a thing or two about tackling knife crime

Knife crime continues to dominate the headlines. What can be done about it? Economics does not pretend to provide all the answers. But, perhaps surprising to some, it has a lot of useful insights to offer on crime. Gary Becker was a professor of both economics and sociology at Chicago. One day he was pushed […]

What’s the point of economists? Look to America’s tech giants to find out

Despite the dire predictions from the economics profession about Brexit, the UK economy is doing well. Growth continues at a steady pace. An all-time record 32.4m people are in work. Unemployment has fallen to levels not seen since the mid-1970s. In contrast, the Eurozone is on the brink of recession – and Italy is already […]