The NIESR blog is a forum for Institute research staff to provide an informed, independent view on current economic issues and recent NIESR research. The views expressed here are those of the authors, and are not necessarily those of the Institute.

Prof Jagjit S. Chadha

Posted: 10 March, 2017 - 14:55 with: Comments
The resilience of output following the referendum has been most welcome and has led to many forecasters gradually cranking up their central views for 2017.  On Wednesday, the OBR plumped for a central case of 2% this year compared to 1.4% in November.  The Institute itself also published an upward revision in February and thought that output would be most likely to grow by some 1.7% this year.  But it is the composition of that growth and the risks present a great concern.

Prof. Simon Wren-Lewis

Posted: 8 March, 2017 - 16:36 with: Comments
For the last several budgets/autumn statements I have agreed to write an immediate response for some media outlet, and have therefore felt obliged to watch either the speech itself, or the media reports on the day. The good news is that no one has asked this year, and so I can ignore all budget coverage until tomorrow.

Prof Jagjit S. Chadha

Posted: 3 March, 2017 - 11:59 with: Comments
In the week before the Spring budget, we are all supposed to get excited about the odd change in tax rates or the TV license fee. And worry about the excise duties on various viscous hydrocarbons. In fact, what we ought to be worried about will probably mostly be missed by commentators: that is whether the government is meeting its obligation to reduce risk.

Johnny Runge

Posted: 21 February, 2017 - 15:47 with: Comments
The problem of teacher shortages is rarely out of the news. Only this week the Education Select Committee concluded that the government is failing to take adequate measures to tackle "significant teacher shortages" in England. Gaps in the classroom are being filled by supply teachers, some hired by agencies. Yet, while agency staff usage and spending in the NHS frequently attract headlines in the national media, much less attention is paid to the spiralling costs of agency supply teachers in England’s state schools.

Nathan Hudson-Sharp

Posted: 20 February, 2017 - 16:21 with: Comments
It has been said many times that the NHS is at breaking point. Talk of bed shortages, wasted resources, understaffing and missed targets saturate the media. A Government Adviser has even said recently that hospitals are in a ‘state of war’.  High rates of use of agency workers are seen as a symptom of a sick NHS but the reasons for their spiralling use are poorly understood. New research by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) set out to explain why agency workers seem to be keeping the NHS alive. The research diagnoses the root causes of high agency spending, revealing that  agency working is only the symptom of a much larger, chronic problem around NHS staffing.

Prof Jagjit S. Chadha

Posted: 17 February, 2017 - 13:12 with: Comments
There is a growing sense that globalisation, by equalising the international price for labour and for capital, has acted to reduce both real wages and real interest rates – the former means that labour earns less but the latter tends to inflate asset prices. This wedge in the return to capital and labour may help us understand why income and wealth inequality has increased in the recent past.