Here is a presentation I gave on 25th February at a schools conference for A-level economics students... Schools presentation on the productivity puzzle (25th Feb 2020)
This may sound like heresy to many economists, not least my former colleagues at the Treasury, but I’m coming around to the view that fiscal rules are overrated. Of course, fiscal credibility is important and must be protected. But fiscal rules are often more of a hindrance than a help. For a start, rules on … Continue reading What should we do with the fiscal rules?
The news that the number of people working on zero-hours contracts has risen to a new record high has prompted fresh calls for a ban. If you're employed on one of these contracts and like it, tough. How on earth did we come to this? To recap, a 'zero-hours contract' is simply a form of … Continue reading Why zero-hours contracts are a good thing
It’s increasingly popular to criticise GDP as a measure of the success of an economy. Indeed, New Zealand’s ‘Wellbeing Budget’ of 2019 was widely praised as a ‘world first’ for its emphasis on a range of other metrics. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rishi Sunak is encouraged to adopt similar language in his first Budget … Continue reading In defence of GDP
In their latest stunt, protestors from Extinction Rebellion have dug up the lawn at Trinity College, Cambridge. Presumably they think all publicity is good publicity, but this looks like yet another own goal. Trinity appears to have been targeted for two reasons, both stupid. One is opposition to the college’s involvement in plans to redevelop … Continue reading Why Extinction Rebellion should stay off the grass
Economists are divided on whether there will be a significant boost to the UK economy from a reduction in Brexit uncertainty. I’m optimistic and expect growth to accelerate over the course of 2020 and beyond. Others are not, arguing that the best we can expect is more certainty of a bad outcome. Here’s a summary … Continue reading Is the ‘Brexit bounce’ the real deal?
Ever since the 2016 referendum, economists have attempted to estimate what Brexit ‘has already cost’ the UK economy and households. It won’t be a surprise to see some of the most depressing numbers dusted off this week to mark the departure from the EU. But all these studies should be taken with a large pinch … Continue reading Has Brexit really already cost us [insert number here]?