From safety net to springboard

Designing an unemployment insurance scheme to protect living standards and boost economic dynamism


Losing your job in Britain is a very risky business. Low levels of out-of-work benefits are rarely an adequate safety net for those who experience job loss, and workers in the UK who move out of work are at greater risk of experiencing a large income loss than those in most other OECD countries. Some … Continued

A tale of two cities (part 2)

A plausible strategy for productivity growth in Greater Manchester and beyond


Few would disagree that the UK has a significant productivity problem, or fail to recognise that the poor performance of the nation’s largest cities outside the capital contribute to that situation. As the Economy 2030 Inquiry has made clear, the productivity of our largest cities lags the UK average, bucking the global trend for bigger … Continued

A tale of two cities (part 1)

A plausible strategy for productivity growth in Birmingham and beyond


After the success of the Commonwealth games in 2022, Birmingham is now in the news for the wrong reasons. Financial difficulties facing the City Council culminated in a formal declaration on 5 September 2023 that Britain’s largest local authority was, in effect, bankrupt. But the understandable short-term focus on the council’s financial woes must not … Continued

Putting good work on the table

Reforming labour market institutions to improve pay and conditions


The UK needs stronger labour market institutions Decent work is a pre-requisite for delivering shared prosperity and improving the lives of the country’s 34-million-strong workforce. In this context, the UK labour market has a number of strengths – from high employment to a national minimum wage that is now among the highest in the world. … Continued

Sharing the benefits

Can Britain secure broadly shared prosperity?


The UK has been living through a period of relative decline that has proved toxic for those on low-to-middle incomes. Against that backdrop, this report examines whether there is still a plausible path to steadily rising shared prosperity and, if so, what does it look like. It does this as part of the Economy 2030 … Continued

Tax planning

How to match higher taxes with better taxes


The UK’s tax take is rising, and is likely to stay high, but the system is not improving. The UK needs a tax strategy to support its economic strategy, using the tax system to boost shared growth. This paper, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, describes what a good tax strategy would look like and … Continued

Beyond Boosterism

Realigning the policy ecosystem to unleash private investment for sustainable growth


The UK is a low investment nation. Low business investment is a big driver of this. Low investment is one reason behind the UK’s weak productivity growth, which in turn is the main reason behind the stagnation in UK living standards. Policy makers understand this and have made attempts to fix it. This paper, part … Continued

Trading Up

The role of the post-Brexit trade approach in the UK’s economic strategy


After nearly half a century of EU membership, Britain needs a trade strategy. The stakes are high: such a strategy shapes what families and firms buy from abroad, and what gets produced domestically; influences our jobs, productivity levels and, ultimately, living standards; and contributes a major plank of Britain’s international policy at a time of … Continued

Where the rubber hits the road

Reforming vehicle taxes


This briefing note examines the future of motoring taxes, which need extensive reform given the necessary and welcome rise of electric vehicles. We detail a suite of policies that will protect revenues and lower income households, reduce congestion, and facilitate the transition to zero-carbon motoring. 

Lessons from successful ‘turnaround’ cities for the UK

Navigating Economic Change

In this essay, part of our Navigating Economic Change series, the authors explore how cities can reverse long-term economic underperformance and move towards a new trajectory, looking at seven cities across five countries that have faced severe economic shocks but managed to break away from the resulting cycles of decline and transition to a more successful development path.

Low Pay Britain 2023

Improving low-paid work through higher minimum standards


After a decade and a half of relative economic decline, Britain needs a new economic strategy. And good work must be at its heart – an explicit goal, not a hoped-for by-product of growth. This is a necessary precondition for a strategy that offers a credible promise of shared prosperity in the years ahead, strengthening … Continued

Institutional reform for Inclusive Growth

Lessons from Germany and Sweden


In this essay, part of our Navigating Economic Change series, Anke Hassel and Kathleen Thelen explore strategies for mitigating some of the income, job and educational inequalities that rich democracies are currently confronting as a result of technological change and the growing gap between winners and losers in the new knowledge economy.

Cutting the cuts

How the public sector can play its part in ending the UK’s low-investment rut


Britain is a low investment nation. Worse, it has now been one for decades. Total investment as a share of GDP has consistently been below the average of other rich countries for decades. This century, the UK has consistently (in all but two years) been in the bottom 10 per cent of countries in the … Continued

Open for business?

UK trade performance since leaving the EU


The overwhelming consensus was that Brexit – which raised trade barriers with the EU – would make the UK less open, less competitive and reduce the size of the economy. The fact that the UK is the only G7 country yet to regain its pandemic level of GDP seemed to corroborate these gloomy predictions. But … Continued

The heat transition

Lessons from other Northern European countries on decarbonising heating


In this essay, part of our Navigating Economic Change series, Renée Bruel and Jan Rosenow look at what the UK can learn from other European countries when it comes to decarbonising heating.

Minding the (productivity and income) gaps

Decomposing and understanding differences in productivity and income across countries


This week’s round of international economic forecasts (from the IMF, Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of England) has seen a renewed focus on the UK’s relative economic decline. But while gloomy forecasts about the coming years dominate headlines this expected weak economic growth comes on the back of 15 years of the UK … Continued

Hitting a brick wall

How the UK can upgrade its housing stock to reduce energy bills and cut carbon


This briefing note considers how policy makers should square up to one the hardest part of the net zero challenge: insulating the nation’s homes. It highlights an overlooked problem, the 9 million walls that need insulating at considerable costs, and proposes a series of new regulations to ensure progress is made by 2035, lowering carbon emissions and cutting energy bills in the process.

Train in Vain?

Skills, tasks, and training in the UK labour market


Human capital and skills are important for improving the UK’s labour market and economic performance. This note assesses how the skills needed in the UK labour market have changed over past decades, and how well placed our system of training – and particularly on-the-job training – is to help us adapt to these changes. Some … Continued

Adopt, adapt and improve

A brief look at the interplay between labour markets and technological change in the UK


Worries that jobs will be lost to automation are not new, but have been heightened since the release of Frey and Osborne’s 2013 study, which warned that nearly half of jobs in the US were at ‘high risk’ of automation. Nearly a decade on, this short briefing note looks at both the current and longer-term … Continued

Navigating Economic Change

Lessons from abroad and history

As the UK is buffeted by the economic shocks and challenges of the 2020s, the Resolution Foundation and LSE Economy 2030 Inquiry is publishing a series of essays examining how policy makers from a range of advanced economies, including the UK in the recent past, have managed periods of disruptive economic change.

As good as it gets?

The forces driving economic stagnation and what they mean for the decade ahead


With inflation at levels not seen since the early 1980s, it is clear that the UK is in the midst of a huge hit to real incomes. But the seeds for the devastating impact of the cost of living crisis were sown by a slump in growth that is unprecedented in the post-war period and … Continued

Stagnation nation

Navigating a route to a fairer and more prosperous Britain

The interim report of The Economy 2030 Inquiry The UK has great strengths, but is over a decade into a period of stagnation. The toxic combination of slow growth and high inequality was posing challenges for low-to-middle income Britain’s living standards even before the post-pandemic cost of living crisis struck. The task of the 2020s … Continued

Power plays

The shifting balance of employer and worker power in the UK labour market


This briefing note, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, looks at shifts in the balance of worker and employer power in recent decades. It assesses the implications of these shifts for both the level and distribution of wages and highlights worker power as an important part of the UK’s economic strategy in the decade ahead.

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