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.

Posted: 29 August, 2016 - 17:33

 As previous readers of my blogs on this topic will know, for much of the last year I (along with Michael O’Connor) have been pressing HMRC and DWP to release more data on how many National Insurance numbers issued to EU nationals are actually in use.  Last Thursday, we edged closer to an answer.

Dr Rebecca Piggott

Posted: 26 August, 2016 - 14:51

With the decision to leave the EU, there has been much discussion about whether the UK will enter recession. This blog provides some information of the frequency of recessions in recent UK economic history, and puts into context the probability of recession in the aftermath of the referendum.

Posted: 17 August, 2016 - 09:53

What do today’s labour market statistics tell us about what’s going to happen to the UK labour market as a result of the referendum result? On the face of it, not much.  The headline figures for employment, unemployment and so on are based on Labour Force Survey data for the months for April to June (and the changes are calculated with respect to the three months prior to that).    The “single month” statistics do show a small uptick in unemployment (from its April low of 4.8% to 5.1%) - but these numbers are volatile, which is why the ONS doesn’t use them as the headline.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 11 August, 2016 - 09:00

The referendum result took the nation by surprise. Among others, politicians and journalists voiced this collective shock, expressed by some as jubilation, by others as dismay and even by regret.

Posted: 5 August, 2016 - 12:23

This is a guest blog by Richard Disney, Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex, A Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics, University College, London, and a Research Fellow of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.


Posted: 3 August, 2016 - 13:44

[This is my contribution to the VoxEU e-book "Brexit Beckons: Thinking Ahead by leading economists", which is available for (free) download here.  It is edited by Richard Baldwin and includes contributions from my NIESR colleague Angus Armstrong and many others


Dr Angus Armstrong

Posted: 2 August, 2016 - 22:16

One reason for the UK leaving the EU was the promise of ‘taking back control’ of trade policy. The UK would give up its influence and vote on EU policies in return for the freedom to negotiate its own trade agreements with countries around the world.

Posted: 31 July, 2016 - 09:15

A month ago, I, along with several of my colleagues from the UK in a Changing Europe programme, other academics, and politicians from both the Leave and Remain campaign, signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph calling on the government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK:

Nathan Hudson-Sharp

Posted: 25 July, 2016 - 14:11

The UK has long been considered one of the best countries in the world for supporting LGBTI rights. With recent progress in relation to same-sex marriage and the prevention of LGB&T hate speech, it could even be said that the UK is well on its way to achieving full LGB&T equality.

Dr Angus Armstrong

Posted: 5 July, 2016 - 17:04

The UK’s decision to leave the EU is a watershed event. It may bring to an end the free movement of labour and limit the free trade of goods and services between the UK and EU. This follows hot on the heels of the fragmentation of international finance in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. How world leaders respond will determine whether Brexit is a set-back to globalisation, or part of deeper retrenchment.

Posted: 3 July, 2016 - 16:39

Before the referendum, it appeared that a Brexit vote would mean that the UK faced a clear choice on immigration policy.  If we wanted as far as possible to retain access to the Single Market,  either by maintaining membership of the European Economic Area (like Norway) or via a series of bilateral agreements (like Switzerland) then we would need to accept that freedom of movement would continue much as now.   Recognising this – and regarding it as an unacceptable price to pay – both UKIP and, eventu

Posted: 30 June, 2016 - 15:58

A week is a short time in economics.  So what , if anything, have we learned about the economic impact of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union?  I would highlight four key points.

Dr Angus Armstrong

Posted: 24 June, 2016 - 12:04

Uncertainty has gripped financial markets in the UK and around the world. The immediate response this morning has been unprecedented in the post Bretton Woods era. In the space of six hours sterling has fallen around 10 per cent against the dollar to the lowest level for 31 years. Stock market futures indicate that the equity markets will fall by around 10%. Further gyrations are expected over the coming days and weeks as market participants grapple with the implications of the results. The response so far reflects a weaker expected economic outlook at home and abroad.

Posted: 24 June, 2016 - 08:31

The Prime Minister's foolish pledge to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands has come back to bite him.   It ensured that the key question for the referendum was whether the ability to "take control" of immigration policy was worth the risk to the UK economy from Brexit.  The electorate have given their verdict. 

Prof Jagjit S. Chadha

Posted: 20 June, 2016 - 10:58

Authors: Jagjit Chadha[1], Paul Johnson[2] and John Van Reenen[3]

The economic consequences of leaving the EU have naturally been a central focus of the referendum campaign. As June 23 draws near we bring together the conclusions from our research on the likely consequences, and reflect on some of the claims made.

Posted: 19 June, 2016 - 10:32

It is difficult to overstate the damage that has been done to UK politics and policy by the Prime Minister’s foolish pledge – made against the advice of almost anyone who knew anything about the subject – to reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands.  It has proved to be an act of economic self-harm; as well as unnecessarily excluding tens of thousands of skilled workers from outside the EU, we are actually losing global market share in a key export sector – higher education – where we have a strong comparative advantage.  But it has also reduced trust in politics and politicians; vot

Prof Jagjit S. Chadha

Posted: 17 June, 2016 - 10:30

We are fortunate to have a consensus of views on the negative impact of leaving the EU. This note explains how a rational agent should "consume" this advice. Theory tends to say that we should be wary of the motivation of those who forecast at the extreme but that we should still put weight on the central case.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 15 June, 2016 - 12:01

There is now little doubt that immigration will be the issue that will decide the referendum result. But it is danger of being decided on fiction rather than facts about its impact. We have never needed evidence about migration more. We do know a lot. We know that any statistical effects of migration on jobs and wages are very small. But statistics are often mistrusted.

Dr Katerina Lisenkova

Dr Angus Armstrong

Posted: 14 June, 2016 - 14:43

In our recent report here we assessed a potential effect of Brexit on low income families. In particular, the potential changes to welfare payments that might follow after Brexit. We combined projected changes in national income with the spirit of the Government’s Fiscal Charter. Our results suggest that the effect on the incomes of the low income families could be substantial. 

Posted: 11 June, 2016 - 16:20

Is immigration from the EU pushing down the wages of British workers, especially the low paid? This has become a central theme for the Leave campaign. The Sun reported: