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.

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Johnny Runge

Posted: 10 December, 2019 - 17:59

The UK minimum wage has been a great success story since its introduction in 1999. Twenty years on, it is at risk of becoming overly politicised in a growing arms race between the two main parties, both eager to claim the credit for boosting the earnings of millions of low-paid workers across Britain.


This piece was first published by Prospect here


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Johnny Runge

Posted: 9 December, 2019 - 16:36

The 2019 election campaign is drawing to a close, but rather surprisingly, immigration has fallen the radar during the past month, overshadowed by the broader Brexit process, anti-Semitism, calls for the Prime Minister to be interviewed by Andrew Neil and so on.

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Phil Thornton

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Dr Garry Young

Posted: 14 November, 2019 - 16:08

Given the febrile nature of the debate over Brexit in the run-up to one of the most contentious general elections in recent memory, it is hardly surprising that NIESR’s well received and widely-accepted analysis of the impact on the UK economy and people’s livelihoods of leaving the European Union has been criticised in some quarters.

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Paul Gretton

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David Vines

Posted: 1 November, 2019 - 12:33

Brexit will require the UK to change its international trading relations. New norms will need to be established both for trade with continental Europe and other trading partners. New partnerships will need to be established. The UK may no longer remain a member the European Customs Union and the Single Market and may not be able to rely on trading arrangements that have been built up through membership of the Union or Single Market. The gravitational pull of the European market will remain.

Posted: 10 October, 2019 - 19:59

The impact of Brexit on the UK economy has been analysed in much detail and NIESR has contributed various model-based analyses (Pain and Young 2004; Ebell, Hurst and Warren 2016; Hantzsche, Kara and Young 2018). Less well understood are implications for the rest of Europe and beyond. This blog post reviews the existing evidence and provides new estimates of the global impact of Brexit. 

Posted: 25 September, 2019 - 11:01

It is common practice in scientific research to check the robustness of findings and test the limitations of results. Much of this robustness checking involves assessing modelling parameters and thinking carefully about mechanisms. But there are also risks to model forecasts that lie outside those that can be traditionally modelled or quantified. Economists tend to call this ‘Knightian uncertainty’. This blog post explores how a shifting political landscape could generate this kind of uncertainty and might cause the impact of Brexit on the UK economy to be fundamentally different compared to estimates NIESR has published in the past.

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Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 22 August, 2019 - 10:15

Australia's points based-immigration system has become very fashionable among our country’s leaders, a veritable political mantra, repeated alongside ‘brightest and best’, which was mentioned no less than five times in the immigration White Paper.

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Oscar Lemmers

Posted: 19 August, 2019 - 09:47

When visiting my sister in Rotterdam, I saw countless vessels entering and leaving the harbour, carrying goods of all kinds – from wine to cloth to mobile phones. Part of that trade is directly related to the Dutch economy, another part is distributed across the old continent or will set sail for the new world. But what part exactly?

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Dr Garry Young

Posted: 16 August, 2019 - 08:06

Last week, Chancellor Sajid Javid announced a fast-tracked one-year spending round to pin down expenditure limits for government departments in the 2020-21 fiscal year. According to his announcements, the round will account for spending commitments made by the Prime Minister since he came to office while continuing “to keep borrowing under control and debt falling by meeting the existing fiscal rules”

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Prof Jagjit S. Chadha OBE

Posted: 14 August, 2019 - 20:43

In the first 142 meetings of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee since it was established in 1997, Bank Rate was changed 44 times.  In the 113 meetings since the depths of the global financial crisis, there have only been three changes. 

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Juan Mateos-Garcia

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Alex Bishop

Posted: 12 August, 2019 - 11:15

Imagine you are a policymaker tasked with developing an industrial strategy for your region. Where do you look for evidence to understand your specialisation profile? Or perhaps you own a business specialising in the manufacture of medical devices connected to the internet of things, and you’ve just secured funding allowing you to scale-up and relocate.

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Dr Marta Paczos

Posted: 9 August, 2019 - 16:40

Freeports are in the news again after the government unveiled plans to create up to ten of them across the UK after Brexit. Freeports are designated areas within the geographic boundary of a country that are subject to simplified customs procedures on imports. Firms importing goods into them can typically defer duties until the goods enter free circulation or are used within the freeport area

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Josh Martin

Posted: 1 August, 2019 - 11:26

Investments in buildings, structures, transport equipment, IT hardware and other machinery make up about half of all capital expenditure by businesses in the UK. These are tangible assets – those which you can see and touch, and usually measure reasonably well. More often than not, they are bought from manufacturing companies or built by construction firms. As a result, the measurement of these investments is reasonably straightforward.

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David Byrne

Posted: 26 July, 2019 - 14:53

The pervasive digitalization of daily life is ultimately to the credit of a tightly integrated manufacturing ecosystem centered in the Pacific Rim.  Relentless advances in efficiency drive down the cost of producing myriad electronic devices, including mobile phones, the key consumer platform for the latest wave of digitalization.  As these devices are distributed around the world, those falling production costs show through to consumer price trends.

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Prof Jagjit S. Chadha OBE

Posted: 23 July, 2019 - 16:29

There is a one-in-four chance that the UK economy has already slipped into a technical recession.

Coverage of the new forecasts we released today at the National Institute of Economic & Social Research (NIESR) focused, quite rightly, on our warning that there is a one-in-four chance that the UK economy has already slipped into a technical recession, with the possibility of a severe downturn in the event of a disorderly no-deal Brexit.

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Francesca Foliano

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Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 11 July, 2019 - 12:33

Growth mindset has gained a strong following in recent years. Originating in the work of American Psychologist Carol Dweck, it juxtaposes fixed and growth mindsets. A fixed mindset has you seeing your qualities as unchangeable - you’re either intelligent or you’re not. Those with a growth mindset believe instead that engaging actively in learning makes them more intelligent.

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Dr Juan Fernández Radoselovics

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Ms Ana Rincon-Aznar

Posted: 11 July, 2019 - 10:28

In recent times we have received some good news about the Spanish economy. GDP has accelerated slightly in the first quarter of 2019, and the performance of the labour market has been promising.  The unemployment rate has decreased considerably since reaching its peak in 2013 (26%), and Spain has just been released from the tight supervision of the European Commission’s Significant Deviation Procedure in which was immersed since 2009.

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Dr Marta Paczos

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Ms Ana Rincon-Aznar

Posted: 24 June, 2019 - 17:25

Earlier this month NIESR hosted a workshop entitled “Global Value Chains: Current developments and Implications for Europe”. We brought together the experts from several leading European research institutes, international organisations and the private sector to discuss various aspects of global value chains (GVCs).  All contributions dealt with questions of great policy relevance, for both the UK and the other European economies. 

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Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 31 May, 2019 - 00:01

Today NIESR has published a literature review on promoting integration in schools. Commissioned by the Department for education to look at ethnic and religious integration, the review finds examples of good practice in bringing young people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds together, for example school linking and admissions policies aimed at reducing segregation.