Economics & Social Policy

Defying Gravity: A critique of estimates of the economic impact of Brexit

The models used to assess the economic impact of Brexit were misleading, according to new analysis by Dr Graham Gudgin, Policy Exchange’s new Chief Economics Adviser and the co-author of the report. At the time, the projections made by the Treasury, OECD and IMF were used by the then government and Remain campaign to argue that the British economy would face a significant and permanent loss of income in the event of a vote to leave. A careful analysis of the gravity trade economic models used to generate these pessimistic projections suggests that the impact of Brexit on our economy will be much less significant than the economic consensus constructed at the time of the referendum.

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Is it time to think about spending EU-funded science money better?

Warwick Lightfoot — Policy Exchange’s Director of Research and Head of Economic and Social Policy – reflects on the way in which science policy exemplifies both Brexit’s ‘practical challenges and its genuine opportunities’. He concludes that Europe is ‘lagging in terms of innovation and areas of rapid technological progress’, and that proposed commitments to increasing science spending and the number of scientists working in the UK ‘should give the British science community the best of both worlds’.

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Customs Union: A soft option with a dead end

Geoff Raby, Policy Exchange’s Head of Trade Policy, welcomes the latest pronouncement of Philip Hammond’s in favour of the UK still leaving the Customs Union — but notes that the Chancellor hinted that there might be a transitional arrangement to remain inside it. Raby points out the potential perils in this stance, not least of which is that transitional arrangements could solidify into permanent ones.

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Euro Clearing Proposals reveal real European Commission Intent

Michael Taylor — Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow — explains why the recent European Commission proposals on euro clearing ‘may well be the first shot in the battle for European financial services post-Brexit’. He concludes, however, that the proposals, ‘appear to have less to do with addressing market failure and more to do with the failure of any other EU city to develop a financial centre anywhere near comparable to the City of London’.

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Euro-zone cyclical recovery masks structural flaws

Michael Taylor — Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow — responds to last week’s announcement that the European Central Bank would continue its asset purchase programme, which involves buying €60bn a month of bonds to support the eurozone economy.

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Latest Economics & Social Policy Publications

Defying Gravity: A critique of estimates of the economic impact of Brexit

Defying Gravity: A critique of estimates of the economic impact of Brexit

The models used to assess the economic impact of Brexit were misleading, according to new analysis by Dr Graham Gudgin, Policy Exchange’s new Chief Economics Adviser and the co-author of the report. At the time, the projections made by the Treasury, OECD and IMF were used by the then government and Remain campaign to argue that the British economy would face a significant and permanent loss of income in the event of a vote to leave. A careful analysis of the gravity trade economic models used to generate these pessimistic projections suggests that the impact of Brexit on our economy will be much less significant than the economic consensus constructed at the time of the referendum.

Lessons from the US on Innovation Policy

Lessons from the US on Innovation Policy

A commentary by Sir Geoffrey Owen, Head of Industrial Policy at Policy Exchange and former Editor of the Financial Times. Sir Geoffrey examines the reasons for US leadership in two key sectors, information technology and biotechnology, highlighting the important role played by new entrepreneurial firms

Clarifying Income Distribution: An Issue of Equality or Need?

Clarifying Income Distribution: An Issue of Equality or Need?

This report — written by Rebecca Lowe Coulson, Policy Exchange’s State and Society Research Fellow — shows that claims suggesting that income inequality has never been greater are not only societally divisive, they are also largely untrue. It also explains why income equality does not necessarily equate to high overall living standards, and explores how that relates to the duties of the state towards the least well off.

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Latest Economics & Social Policy Blogs

Is it time to think about spending EU-funded science money better?

Is it time to think about spending EU-funded science money better?

Warwick Lightfoot — Policy Exchange’s Director of Research and Head of Economic and Social Policy – reflects on the way in which science policy exemplifies both Brexit’s ‘practical challenges and its genuine opportunities’. He concludes that Europe is ‘lagging in terms of innovation and areas of rapid technological progress’, and that proposed commitments to increasing science spending and the number of scientists working in the UK ‘should give the British science community the best of both worlds’.

Customs Union: A soft option with a dead end

Customs Union: A soft option with a dead end

Geoff Raby, Policy Exchange’s Head of Trade Policy, welcomes the latest pronouncement of Philip Hammond’s in favour of the UK still leaving the Customs Union — but notes that the Chancellor hinted that there might be a transitional arrangement to remain inside it. Raby points out the potential perils in this stance, not least of which is that transitional arrangements could solidify into permanent ones.

Euro Clearing Proposals reveal real European Commission Intent

Euro Clearing Proposals reveal real European Commission Intent

Michael Taylor — Policy Exchange’s Economics Research Fellow — explains why the recent European Commission proposals on euro clearing ‘may well be the first shot in the battle for European financial services post-Brexit’. He concludes, however, that the proposals, ‘appear to have less to do with addressing market failure and more to do with the failure of any other EU city to develop a financial centre anywhere near comparable to the City of London’.

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Latest Economics & Social Policy News

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot writes about Brexit’s effect on food prices, in the Daily Telegraph

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot writes about Brexit’s effect on food prices, in the Daily Telegraph

Warwick Lightfoot — Director of Research and Head of Economics and Social Policy — reflects on a recent House of Lords’ report on the potential impact of Brexit on agriculture. He comments that ‘nowhere did [the report] recognise that protectionism drives food prices in the EU above world prices’, before concluding that ‘after Brexit, consumer welfare will be increased by access to the world’s most competitive suppliers and I believe we will see lower food prices’

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot referenced in Sunday Times article on Scottish independence

Policy Exchange’s Warwick Lightfoot referenced in Sunday Times article on Scottish independence

This Sunday Times article by Mark Macaskill discusses the views of Warwick Lightfoot, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics and Social Policy, and Research Director. Referring to a recent blog piece Lightfoot wrote on Scottish independence, Macaskill reports that ‘a proposal by the SNP for tackling Scotland’s multibillion-pound budget deficit in the event of independence has been described as “implausible” by a leading economist.’

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