Britain’s car industry could weather a storm of tariffs better than you’d think

The latest American Economic Review contains a timely paper. Keith Head and Thierry Mayer, at the University of British Columbia and the Banque de France respectively, estimate the consequences of changes in tariff and non-tariff barriers to the car industry. They look at both US-led protectionism and Brexit, and calculate how these might change the […]

Can we innovate better outside the EU? Economic lessons from the Nobel prize winner

Gordon Brown’s time as chancellor will be remembered for many things. A sense of humour would be conspicuously absent from this list. But he provoked a great deal of mirth unintentionally in a speech shortly before the 1997 General Election on the theme of “post-neoclassical endogenous growth theory”. Perhaps the last laugh is with Brown. The […]

The UK’s capacity to innovate matters far more than panic over consumer spending

The debate about Brexit has become mired in a virtually incomprehensible quagmire of detailed and technical negotiations between the UK and the rest of the EU. Yet the campaign itself in 2016 was dominated by broader questions of political economy. In addition to the hurly burly of claims about extra NHS spending or Project Fear, […]

Economists have lost the public’s trust by meddling in politics

Big Ben from London Eye

Michael Gove famously said during the Brexit campaign that people “have had enough of experts”. Certainly, the outcome suggests that many were sceptical of the doom-laden economic projections of Project Fear. But what do the public think about economists themselves? An intriguing survey released last week by ING bank and the Bristol University Economics Network […]

Claims that a low tax, low regulation UK would be a disaster are rubbish

President Hollande in the UK

Dame Minouche Shafik, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, is leaving to become Director of the London School of Economics.  Last weekend, she gave her final interview wearing her Bank hat. Shafik issued what was described in the media as a “thinly veiled warning” to the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond.  She stated that it was […]

Why the economics profession remains blind to the benefits of Brexit

The office for National Statistics last week estimated that the UK economy grew at an annual rate of 2.4 per cent in the final quarter of last year. This is slightly above the long-term average growth of the past three decades. But a Financial Times survey this month showed that the majority of economists remain […]

Paul Ormerod to speak at Economic Research Council: buy tickets now!

Volterra’s Paul Ormerod to speak at the Economic Research Council on Monday 20th February 18.30 – 20.00. Paul will be discussing why so many economists are opposed to Brexit.  Book your ticket here. A limited number of Early Bird tickets are available for £15 each. Following a Financial Times survey in January that showed that nine times […]

The death of cash, the rise of trade unions and other eclectic 2017 predictions

It’s certainly been an eventful year. But rather than dwell on the past, what sort of things can we expect in 2017? Here are a few eclectic predictions. Sweden may become the world’s first cashless economy. Notes and coins are already fast disappearing as a means of payment, and retailers are legally entitled to refuse to accept […]