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What is the MPU?

The Resolution Foundation’s Macroeconomic Policy Unit has been set up with the aim of contributing to a more inclusive and better informed macroeconomic policy debate. It will publish original and rigorous macroeconomic analysis on key policy issues. As well as research undertaken by Resolution Foundation staff and the MPU’s Associates, we will collaborate with, and provide a platform for, high-quality and innovative thinking on macroeconomic policy issues.


Why does macroeconomic policy matter for living standards?

Macroeconomic developments play a key role in driving living standards. The unprecedented stagnation in earnings seen since the financial crisis has to a large degree reflected the weakness of aggregate GDP and productivity. While low to middle income households have fared worse than those at the top of the distribution, weak income growth has affected all parts of the distribution. Macroeconomic policy plays a key role in determining macroeconomic outcomes, and so is inextricably linked to living standards. This is particularly true in recessions when macroeconomic plays a vital role in limiting the damage.

What We Do


Seeking public value

The case for balance sheet targeting in fiscal policy
Published on 29 September 2019 by Richard Hughes

The traditional measures of government financial performance in the UK, public sector net borrowing and debt, do not fully capture the way in which people think about, talk about, and make fiscal policy today. With the government’s current fiscal rules...

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Dealing with ‘no deal’

The economic policy response to a ‘no deal’ Brexit
Published on 19 September 2019 by Richard Hughes,Jack Leslie,Cara Pacitti,James Smith

This report provides a framework for understanding what role macroeconomic policy can play in alleviating the economic impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. It provides an estimate of the impact on government finances, and includes an illustrative stimulus package designed...

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Recession ready?

Assessing the UK’s macroeconomic framework
Published on 9 September 2019 by James Smith,Jack Leslie,Cara Pacitti,Fahmida Rahman

This report is the launch paper for the Resolution Foundation’s Macroeconomic Policy Unit. It provides the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s macroeconomic policy framework since the financial crisis, focusing on the ability of the framework to provide effective support...

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Quantitative (displ)easing?

Does QE work and how should it be used next time?
Published on 7 September 2019 by Jack Leslie,Fahmida Rahman,James Smith,Joe Gagnon

After the financial crisis, central banks purchased massive amounts of long-term bonds to stimulate economies. These purchases have come to be known as quantitative easing (QE) and have been hugely controversial – barely a third (37 per cent) of UK...

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A problem shared?

What can we learn from past recessions about the impact of the next across the income distribution?
Published on 5 August 2019 by James Smith,Cara Pacitti

While the received wisdom from the 1980s and 1990s recessions was that those at the bottom of the income distribution suffer most during severe downturns. But this was less obvious in the aftermath of the financial crisis. So this briefing...

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Failing to plan = planning to fail

The risk of recessions and the importance of macroeconomic policy in limiting the damage they cause
Published on 14 July 2019 by James Smith

There is a relatively high risk that the UK will experience a recession in the next few years, bringing with it significant and lasting damage. Macroeconomic policy will once again need to play its part in mitigating this damage. But...

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Dealing with ‘No Deal’

What should the Chancellor and Governor do?
Thursday 19 September, 2019

Across Whitehall, preparations for ‘No Deal’ are now dominating, from maintaining medical supplies to bolstering border controls. But the Treasury and the Bank of England also need to prepare a macroeconomic response to a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

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Ready for the next recession?

Assessing the UK’s macroeconomic framework
Monday 9 September, 2019

To mark its launch of its new Macroeconomic Policy Unit, Resolution Foundation is hosting an event that brings together leading macroeconomists and policy makers, and will include the publishing of a comprehensive assessment of the UK’s current macroeconomic policy framework.

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Meet the new dosh, same as the old dosh

Should ‘People’s Quantitative Easing’ be used to fight the next crisis?
Tuesday 9 July, 2019

Book launch for economist Frances Coppola's new book 'The Case for People’s Quantitative Easing'. A panel of experts joined Frances to debate the role of QE in the next recession

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The Treasury and Bank of England should prepare for a three-pronged economic shock from 'no deal'

Published on 1 October 2019

It’s a well-worn trope that no one knows what the economic impact of a no deal Brexit would be. And for good reason. The scale of disruption at the border, in supply chains and in the wider economy, is impossible...

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The Chancellor has binned austerity and his fiscal rules with the biggest increase in public service spending since 2004

Published on 4 September 2019

The Chancellor today ended austerity by announcing a £13.4bn increase in public service spending, and in practice tearing up his fiscal rules, the Resolution Foundation said today (Wednesday) in response to the Spending Round. The Foundation notes that the Chancellor’s...

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Another summer blockbuster (on fiscal risks) from the OBR

Published on 18 July 2019

Today the OBR published its second Fiscal Risks Report, a comprehensive assessment of all the things that could go wrong with the UK’s public finances over the next 50 years. And it is a summer blockbuster – topping out at...

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Blowing the Budget and how to train your Dictator

Top of the Charts
Published on 19 July 2019

Sign up for our weekly Top of the Charts email here Afternoon all, I’m afraid a rather serious mood is dominating at RF towers today. It’s Theresa May’s last weekend as Prime Minister. It’s (probably) Boris Johnson’s last weekend for a while...

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  • Kate Barker

    Kate Barker

    MPU Associate
  • Jason Furman

    Jason Furman

    MPU Associate
  • Paul Gregg

    Paul Gregg

    MPU Associate
  • Richard Hughes

    Richard Hughes

    MPU Research Associate
  • Toby Nangle

    Toby Nangle

    MPU Associate
  • Jumana Saleheen

    Jumana Saleheen

    MPU Associate
  • Greg Thwaites

    Greg Thwaites

    MPU Associate
  • Gertjan Vlieghe

    Gertjan Vlieghe

    MPU Associate
  • Tony Yates

    Tony Yates

    MPU Associate
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