CEP

The use of designer reputation to build tall in London

The Planning for the Future white paper tackles one costly feature of the British planning system: its peculiar reliance on case by case, essentially political, decision making for all significant development (see here). Tall office towers are significant developments, so whether or not to permit them is subject to this political process. In Chicago it is straightforward. There are rules. […]

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    Productivity growth in one country affects the relative income and welfare of its trade partners

Productivity growth in one country affects the relative income and welfare of its trade partners

One of the most dramatic changes in the world economy over the past half century has been the emergence of China as a major force in world trade. A central question in international economics is the implications of such economic growth for the income and welfare of trade partners. A related question in political economy is the extent to […]

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    Why we need to do something about the monopsony power of employers

Why we need to do something about the monopsony power of employers

You have almost certainly heard of monopoly, but less likely to have heard of monopsony. The literal definition of monopoly is a situation where there is only one seller of a product; though the term is used more loosely to refer to the case where there are a few sellers and not much competition between them. They have what […]

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    Firms closer to universities tend to have better management practices

Firms closer to universities tend to have better management practices

Management matters for explaining differentials in productivity between and within countries and sectors. Across countries, management practices – as measured in the World Management Survey (WMS) – explain on average around 30% of the gap in total factor productivity with the United States (Bloom et al, 2016); and experimental evidence from Indian textile plants supports a causal interpretation (Bloom […]

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    UK economic problems: diagnosing is easier than coming up with solutions

UK economic problems: diagnosing is easier than coming up with solutions

With Boris Johnson’s launch of his “New Deal” and Michael Gove’s speech on “the privilege of public service”, the government has made clear its intention to press ahead with the domestic agenda of “levelling-up” and reform of government on which it was elected. There was little surprise in either announcement, with all of the elements to be found previously […]

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    How will Covid-19 shape the future economic role of the British state?

How will Covid-19 shape the future economic role of the British state?

When the pandemic has passed into history, what will be its implications for the role of the state in our economy? Some think it will (or should be) the replacement of one -ism with another. But to see the issues we face next through the prisms of an -ism could prove more of a prison than a roadmap. Ours […]

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    Building back better: policies for a strong and sustainable recovery

Building back better: policies for a strong and sustainable recovery

The Covid-19 crisis is already inflicting serious damage on both the UK and the global economy. This raises questions on the appropriate policies for a strong and sustainable recovery, contributing to global efforts to avoid a depression, and delivering on overarching governmental objectives, including reaching net-zero emissions and reducing inequalities across and within regions. On 14 May 2020, the […]

How is Covid-19 affecting businesses in the UK?

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have highlighted the need for real-time data to understand the spread of the disease, identify vulnerable groups and design policies to mitigate the health and economic fallout of the crisis. While several new efforts to collect individual data are being made (Adams et al., 2020), data on businesses is more limited.

A relatively under-utilised source […]

The future of apprenticeships is in the balance

The unprecedented economic upheaval brought by the Covid-19 pandemic raises several concerns for the functioning of the English apprenticeship system, particularly in the medium-term as economic and social activity resumes.

Even in normal times, firms with apprentices may fail: usually disruption is minimised by reallocating apprentices to other firms. But economy-wide downturns exacerbate this problem because of the risk that […]

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    Covid-19 and the international trade downturn: lessons from 2008

Covid-19 and the international trade downturn: lessons from 2008

The current Covid-19 outbreak is raising a number of growing concerns about the UK economy and its capacity to cope with the current situation and recover in the near future. One particular area of concern, in the UK and elsewhere, is related to international trade, i.e., trade of goods and services across countries. More specifically, the World Trade Organisation […]

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    Covid-19 is increasing the divide in life chances between rich and poor

Covid-19 is increasing the divide in life chances between rich and poor

Social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic has given a new meaning to the problem of low social mobility. But make no mistake: the long term reverberations of the crisis will likely exacerbate the divide in life chances between the poor and privileged. Covid-19 has the scope to increase the toxic mix of rising economic and education inequality that […]

The Covid-19 recession is creating a crisis of inequality

The Covid-19 pandemic is turning into a global recession – probably the biggest drop in economic activity since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The latest forecasts put UK and US GDP both down by about 10% in the second quarter of 2020 (40% on an annualised basis). GDP is an important measure of economic wellbeing, but the key […]

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    Covid-19: We shouldn’t give priority to sustaining the GDP over the wellbeing of the people

Covid-19: We shouldn’t give priority to sustaining the GDP over the wellbeing of the people

We are in a very difficult situation. But I do believe that if we handle it right we can come out of this better than we went into it. We can come out of it with a society in which people are caring more for each other and in which they are taking better care of themselves.

So, let me […]

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    We can increase happiness through public policy – and in our jobs and private lives too

We can increase happiness through public policy – and in our jobs and private lives too

Thomas Jefferson said that ‘The care of human life and happiness… is the first and only legitimate object of good  government.’ We agree with him, as did the LSE’s main architects – the Webbs and William Beveridge. So too do an increasing number of policymakers worldwide: only last October, the European Union’s Council of Ministers requested that all of […]

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    If the UK is high tech, why is productivity growth slow? Economists weigh in

If the UK is high tech, why is productivity growth slow? Economists weigh in

The UK has seen slow rates of productivity growth over the past decade, with output per hour and real wages no higher today than they were prior to the global financial crisis. The February 2020 Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) survey asked its panel of top UK economists about the causes of and possible policy responses to slow growth in UK […]

Does more competition spur innovation or discourage it?

Increased levels of global trade integration, especially driven by the rise of China, have led to a fierce public debate about the winners and losers from international trade. Recently, calls for protectionism have become louder in many countries, leading to a backlash against globalisation (OECD 2017).

When it comes to firms, the increase in import competition has led researchers to […]

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    Technology can benefit a few superstar workers, at the expense of everyone else

Technology can benefit a few superstar workers, at the expense of everyone else

Technical change is disrupting many labour markets and is re-shaping the world of work. A widespread fear is that new technologies generate winner-take-all labour markets that benefit a small group of superstars, at the expense of the majority of the workforce. These so-called “superstar effects” arise when technologies open up bigger markets and make it possible to reach consumers […]

Brexit: mourning the economic and personal damage

Britain has left the European Union (EU). The loss I feel is almost as much as when my father died, almost a quarter of a century ago. He was 16 when he came to Britain with my grandfather, who was a South African political refugee. After completing his UK national service, he married the daughter of a Merseyside dockworker. […]

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    Silicon Roundabout: did light touch policy interventions work?

Silicon Roundabout: did light touch policy interventions work?

London’s technology ecosystem is thriving. The city has over 50,000 tech firms, with over 260,000 employees. Venture capital investment rose from £384 million in 2013 to £1.8 billion in 2018. A number of companies, such as Deepmind, Transferwise and Deliveroo, have become unicorns, valued at more than £1 billion. It survived the financial crisis and is — so far […]

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    To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies

To meet its ambitious ‘net zero’ target, the UK will need to ramp up climate change policies

UK greenhouse gas emissions are declining and have been declining for some time. The UK has a framework of long-run targets developed by the Committee on Climate Change, an independent body of experts advising government. Despite this, things are far from well when it comes to climate change in the UK and there are concerns about the country’s ability […]