Ending Stagnation

A New Economic Strategy for Britain

Monday 4 December 2023

The final report of The Economy 2030 Inquiry The UK has great strengths, but is a decade and a half into a period of stagnation. The combination of slow growth and high inequality is proving toxic for low- and middle-income Britain. The result is a country falling behind its peers, where taxes, rather than wages, … Continued

Inventing a better Britain

How does R&D fit into a new UK economic strategy?

Wednesday 15 November 2023

Low productivity is the foundational cause of Britain’s recent economic malaise, and raising it is a top priority for policy makers. Public and private investment in research and development is a key route to boosting productivity and future economic growth. But businesses often complain that policy makers are failing to create an environment that encourages … Continued

In place of centralisation

Devolution for London, Manchester and Birmingham

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Devolution is essential to both tackle economic inequality across England and drive national economic growth. Significant change has already occurred, with metro mayors and combined authorities taking control over significant areas from transport to housing in areas covering large swathes of the country. But we have not seen fiscal devolution, as responsibility for how money is spent … Continued

Creaking at the seams

Can we bring Britain’s trains, drains and mains into the 21st Century?

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Britain faces a simply huge infrastructure challenge. As well as decarbonising our homes, we need to modernise our water, energy and transport networks, replacing basic infrastructure that often dates back to the Victorian era. Achieving this is likely to require major investment, regulatory reform and new institutions to drive forward change, as well as a … Continued

People-powered growth

Equipping young people with the skills Britain needs to prosper

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Britain urgently needs to boost its economic growth. But while there are many routes to doing so, most ultimately come down to people boosting national prosperity – and to do this they need the right skills for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. But Britain’s record on skills is chequered – its often world … Continued

Riding the economic rollercoaster

Is Britain’s macroeconomic policy framework fit for purpose?

Thursday 19 October 2023

Britain’s macroeconomic policy that the Treasury and Bank of England have got used to is crisis management – from a financial crash to a global pandemic and a huge inflation spike. Both have adopted new approaches to supporting the economy, going far beyond textbook cuts to interest rates. Today the legacy is higher levels of … Continued

Creating a Good Jobs economy

Lecture by Professor Dani Rodrik

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Advanced economies across the world have been buffeted by acute shocks crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine, at the same time as they are grappling with longer-term challenges like deindustrialisation, the rise of AI and globalisation. Labour markets across a range of countries have experienced persistent wage stagnation, the rise of insecure … Continued

More change please

Why Britain needs a more dynamic economy

Monday 25 September 2023

Change is accelerating, or so we are told. But while the world is changing, it’s far less clear that Britain’s economy is. In fact we’re seeing less industrial change, as some sectors grow and others shrink, than has been the case for decades. Fewer workers are moving jobs. This matters because, while many of us … Continued

Risk reduction

Can earnings insurance underpin a more dynamic jobs market and a more productive economy?

Thursday 21 September 2023

Losing your job in Britain can be a very expensive business. Low and flat rate benefits leave many workers facing huge income falls if they face a period out of work. This gives them a strong incentive to take a new job quickly – but not necessarily the best fit for their talents. And it … Continued

Making Greater Manchester great again

What is GM’s plausible path to greater prosperity?

Tuesday 19 September 2023

This event was held in Manchester. Greater Manchester has long been centre-stage in visions of a more geographically equal country – from the Northern Powerhouse to levelling up. But the rhetoric has outpaced the reality: productivity and wages across the city region remain 10 and 4 per cent below the national average. What it would … Continued

Building momentum in Birmingham and beyond

What is Birmingham urban area’s plausible path to greater prosperity?

Thursday 14 September 2023

This event was in Birmingham. The West Midlands has played a pivotal role in British history as a manufacturing hub, driving innovation and economic growth which led to dramatic improvements in people’s living standards. But its city region has struggled to maintain this role over recent decades, and productivity is now 11 per cent below … Continued

The Innovation Job

Can new labour market institutions drive good work?

Monday 4 September 2023

Nationally set minimum standards – from the minimum wage to holiday pay – make a real difference to the quality of low-paid work. But these reforms can only go so far. Many problems in the world of work are concentrated in specific sectors, from social care to logistics. And even when problems are shared – … Continued

Shared prosperity

What would it take to see a return to rising living standards for all?

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Britain is stagnating. Productivity growth is flatlining, workers today are earning the same wages as their predecessors in 2007, and living standards growth had slowed to a crawl even before today’s cost of living crisis. So we need a clear strategy for returning to rising, and widely shared, prosperity. Against that backdrop, it is important … Continued

From quantity to quality

How to have better, not just higher, taxes

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Britain’s tax take has risen to a 70 year high. And while the pre-election clamour for tax cuts is growing, higher debt payments, struggling public services and tight fiscal rules mean taxes are just as likely to go up as down. But this rising quantity of tax revenue has not been matched by a rising … Continued

An investment nation

Can Britain shift from living off its past to investing in its future?

Thursday 22 June 2023

Britain is in relative decline, as productivity and wages stagnate. This reflects a decade of shocks but also a longer lasting problem – Britain has spent recent decades living off its past rather than investing in its future. In both public and private investment the UK consistently lags behind its international peers, leaving British workers … Continued

Living in a material world

How resources shape our past, present and future

Monday 19 June 2023

Materials matter. They have been critical in shaping the path of human history, from the innovations we create to the relationships between nations. This has always been true from iron in the 19th Century to lithium that powers our smartphones today. But changing international dynamics – driven by shifting geopolitics, the recent energy crisis and … Continued

The UK’s trade trajectory

In search of a post-Brexit trade strategy

Thursday 15 June 2023

Brexit was a seismic break for the UK, not least in bringing to a close a decades long trade strategy focused on integration with European markets. Since then the Government has successfully rushed to sign as many trade agreements as possible, but these largely roll over arrangements inherited from EU membership, with little prospect of … Continued

Running out of road?

How to avoid (net) zero car taxation

Thursday 1 June 2023

The UK is decarbonising its stock of cars quicker than most people expected – last year there were over a million Electric Vehicles (EVs) on our roads. This is great news for both people and the planet, as EVs are cheaper and cleaner to drive. But this transition presents challenges too – not least to … Continued

Shaping the next revolution

How can we ensure that technological change boosts our national prosperity?

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Technological innovations – from new agricultural machinery to industrialisation and the invention of the computer – have powered economic progress over the past 1,000 years. But technological leaps do not automatically lead to living standards improvements, and can instead cause economic disruption and pose threats to workers. As we stand on the precipice of a … Continued

Turnaround cities

How post-industrial cities around the world have transformed their economies

Monday 15 May 2023

In a services-based economy like Britain, its cities should be leading its economic growth. But in fact England’s major cities outside London are actually less productive than the national average, and many have struggled to adjust to our post-industrial landscape. This is a common challenge for many cities in western economies. But while some cities … Continued

Good work

How to renew the UK’s economic strategy and put better jobs at its heart

Wednesday 19 April 2023

The minimum wage has more than halved the share of low paid workers across Britain over the past two decades. This is a huge success – but it is far from job done. While low-paid workers today earn more, they are too often trapped on short-hours, facing poor working conditions or lacking the advantages higher … Continued

Thinking about tomorrow

Overcoming the UK’s low and volatile public investment problem

Thursday 30 March 2023

The UK has been under-investing for decades. British business isn’t keen on investing, and the public sector if anything does even worse. Public investment is not only low by international standards, it’s very volatile. Politicians like to announce investment rises, but Chancellor’s also like to cut it when they need to make the fiscal arithmetic … Continued

The future of the UK economy

Navigating a route to a fairer and more prosperous South Yorkshire, and beyond

Thursday 23 March 2023

The United Kingdom is facing a decisive decade of huge economic change, from restructuring after Brexit and the pandemic, to urgently transitioning towards a net zero future, and adapting to technological shifts amid an ageing population. But it is doing that against a backdrop of low growth and high inequality, a toxic combination that leaves … Continued

Economy 2030
Monetary policy
Macroeconomic policy

A cost-of-living crisis

Inflation during an unprecedented terms of trade shock

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Speech by MPC member Swati Dhingra Britain has been buffeted by many different economic shocks in recent decades, but the most recent is a huge terms of trade deterioration following a spike in energy prices and disruption to global supply chains in the wake of the pandemic. This has given the UK the highest inflation … Continued

Saving capitalism, rescuing democracy

Book launch for The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Martin Wolf

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Recent decades have not been kind to liberal democracy. Growth has slowed, inequality risen. Powerful voices argue that capitalism is better without democracy, while others argue that democracy is better without capitalism. But despite the travails of democratic capitalism this system brings substantial benefits. Turning the tide on populism requires both reflecting on these advantages … Continued

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