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Bridget releases report on the economic impact of High Speed Rail

Bridget releases report on the economic impact of High Speed Rail

Volterra’s senior partner Bridget Rosewell recently produced a report with Oxford University’s Tony Venables on the impact of new railway investments in the UK, in particular HS2. The paper looks at how to assess the potential benefits of higher speed and higher capacity connection between cities by rail. Much of the formal appraisal of HS2 to date focuses on saving time rather than examining the impact of ‘connecting places that are synergistic’; the report develops the arguments for the wider benefits of such ‘connections’. Read the full report here, or take a look at Bridget’s recent blog ‘The Political Economy of Risk Taking’ which considers how the often controversial topic of HS2 is misunderstood.
New frontiers in privatisation

New frontiers in privatisation

Volterra Partner Paul Ormerod recently spoke at an Institute for Economic Affairs conference in Slovenia on New Frontiers in Privatisation. The delegates from countries in the former Soviet bloc were particularly enthusiastic! His talk was on ‘Evolutionary Approaches to Privatisation’ and can be found here. The political economy of further privatisation raises issues which are of fundamental importance for economics, such as whether we believe the evidence from surveys or rely on what economists call ‘revealed preference’.
Nick Bosanquet

Nick and the ‘wider western front’

In other news, and in a brief deviation from economics, Volterra associate Nick Bosanquet has recently turned historian in a new book about World War 1 that focuses on the 'wider western front' and how the war impacted on home territory. In 'Our Land at War' Nick traces the main UK sites that affected the war effort, and examines how the signs of this effort and often of the sacrifice are there to be found in your own town. The book will be published by the History Press in May 2014 to mark the centenary of WW1. Read more about the book here.
Bridget and the TESTRAD Consortium introduce London Britannia Airport

Bridget and the TESTRAD Consortium introduce London Britannia Airport

Volterra's senior partner Bridget Rosewell formed TESTRAD to research the infrastructure potential of the Estuary and has worked with a number of experts to develop the ideas for an airport based there. This scheme has been merged with that of global architectural design firm Gensler and the TESTRAD Consortium has responded to the call from the Airports Commission with plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary to be known as London Britannia Airport. The six runway airport would position London as the gateway for Europe by offering travellers a hub airport able to operate around the clock, whilst minimizing disruption to London residents. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, says: “This is further welcome argument in favour of the feasibility of having a new hub airport in the Thames estuary. With so many options available for a multi-runway hub airport in a new location, it would be folly for the Airports Commission to give countenance to the prospect of expanding Heathrow, the most noise-polluting airport in Europe.” Read the full press release here, have a look at what the airport might look like here, or read the full report here.
Discovering how HS2 will unlock economic development potential

Discovering how HS2 will unlock economic development potential

Volterra is working with a number of partners to help realise the potential of High Speed 2 outside London. We have previously done research to show that HS2 is as much about capacity as about speed, and as much about jobs as about time saving. We are continuing to develop these ideas with some of the cities along the route to consider how to use the new line to unlock economic development potential and we are also working with HS2 on the evaluation framework. We believe that a different approach to evaluation of such large schemes is needed. Such schemes change the economy and this needs to be integrated into how we make decisions. Our work for Crossrail looked at the benefits of a stronger commuter network, we are now investigating the impact of inter-city linkages.
Paul 'airs' his ideas on Positive Linking

Paul ‘airs’ his ideas on Positive Linking

Volterra partner Paul Ormerod was recently interviewed by Peter Day on his ‘Global Business’ programme for the BBC World Service. The programme centres around the question: ‘What on earth is wrong with economics?’; Paul airs his views as to the limitations of how conventional economics is taught and documented and goes on to describe some of the themes and ideas contained within his recent book Positive Linking: how networks can revolutionise the world (incidentally recently available in paperback!) Listen to the interview here.
Follow Paul in CityAM

Follow Paul in CityAM

For a year now, every Wednesday Paul has a column in the successful CityAM newspaper. He covers a wide range of topics, such as: the underlying similarity of Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory and economic recession (here); why we should be optimistic about long-term economic growth (here); why HS2 is worth it (here); a field guide to economists: the recovery denier (here); using Scotland to test monetary theory (here); and the age old question of whether Brentford will ever topple Manchester United? (here). All of Paul's articles appear on both Volterra’s and Paul’s own blog later the same week.
Bridget appointed OBE

Bridget appointed OBE

The 2013 Birthday Honours list has brought good news to Volterra with Senior Partner Bridget Rosewell being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the economy. Congratulations Bridget!
London Finance Commission report on the future of 'funding' the capital

London Finance Commission report on the future of ‘funding’ the capital

Last year we announced that Bridget Rosewell was to sit on the panel for the London Finance Commission – an initiative of Boris Johnson - which looked at ways of ensuring that fiscal responsibility could be increased for London and investment support. The commission met on a monthly basis from July 2012 to April 2013 and this May reported on its findings. Watch the full recording of the report here.
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