Brexit creates new opportunities and new risks for the British and EU financial markets. If policymakers react optimally, both could benefit. However, a more likely outcome is a fall in the quality of financial regulations, more inefficiency, more protectionism, and less protection. Systemic risk could increase, with a systemic vicious feedback loop a possibility.
Jon Danielsson, Robert Macrae, Jean-Pierre Zigrand, 24 June 2016
Anatole Kaletsky, 22 June 2016
If the UK leaves the EU, what will happen to the UK economy? In this video, Anatole Kaletsky argues that Brexit would be economic suicide, or at least self-harm. A trade agreement that grants access to the Single Market implies conceding political sovereignty, contributing to the EU budget, and free movement of labour. This video was recorded during the “Economics of the UK’s EU Membership” conference organised by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in February 2016 and held in London.
Karl Whelan, 20 June 2016
A large amount of business done in the City is linked to the UK’s membership of the EU. In this video, Karl Whelan discusses the impact of Brexit for the UK’s financial sector. He also argues that leaving the EU would take away the UK’s voice in shaping future legislation, which it would nonetheless have to follow in order to retain access to the Single Market. This video was recorded during the “Economics of the UK’s EU Membership” conference organised by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in February 2016 and held in London.
Nicholas Crafts, 15 June 2016
If the UK leaves the EU, what's next for the economy? In this video, Nicholas Crafts of the University of Warwick discusses the impact of EU membership on the British economy. The type of agreement the UK would reach outside the EU is most important, and the risks outweigh the potential gains. This video was shot during the “Economics of the UK’s EU Membership” conference organised by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) on 23 February 2016 and held in London.
Nauro F. Campos, Fabrizio Coricelli, 14 June 2016
The partnership between the UK and the EU has famously been described as “awkward”. A benefit of the Brexit debate is that it has spawned an enormous amount of research addressing issues surrounding the relationship that have been taken for granted for probably too long. This column takes stock of new research presented at a recent conference on the UK-EU relationship.
Matteo M. Galizzi, George Loewenstein, 14 June 2016
Although not a nudge, the ‘soda tax’ in the UK can nonetheless be justified in part on behavioural grounds. This column analyses the potential effectiveness of the soda tax in reducing consumption. As a behavioural instrument, the tax does not go far enough, and is in fact regressive. A comprehensive junk food tax should be introduced instead, accompanied by nudges, ‘healthy’ subsidies, and regulation of ‘super-sizing’ practices.
Stefan Gerlach, Edoardo Di Giamberardino, 10 June 2016
The outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership could have a significant effect on sterling. This column estimates the potential size of this effect by looking at the relationship between daily changes in the sterling exchange rate and bookmakers’ odds of Brexit. Movements of between 5% and 15% seem plausible.
James Banks, Carl Emmerson, Gemma Tetlow, 07 May 2016
Many countries are increasing the age at which people can start claiming state-funded pensions. One objection often raised is that such policies are unfair because some will be too unhealthy to remain in paid work. This column compares employment rates in England of older people today to those of earlier generations, and also to those of younger people today. These comparisons suggest that a significant minority of older people appear to be unable to work on the grounds of health alone.
Juergen Matthes, Berthold Busch, 27 April 2016
Studies attempting the quantify the economic effects for the UK of Brexit have come up with conflicting results – ranging from significant advantages to marked losses. Using a meta-analysis, this column shows this can be explained by different methods and assumptions, as well as varying coverage of effects. The forward-looking, model-based studies are unable to capture many positive effects of economic integration on welfare and growth. In comparison, backward-looking studies tend to find significantly larger trade effects of economic integration agreements. The meta-analysis suggests that in case of Brexit, GDP losses for the UK in the range of 10% or more cannot be ruled out in the long run.
Shamena Anwar, Patrick Bayer, Randi Hjalmarsson, 19 April 2016
Women remain underrepresented in many aspects of political and civic life. This column explores the empirical significance of representation, exploiting a 1919 law that made women eligible to serve on English juries. Archival court data show that female representation boosted convictions in sex offenses cases. The magnitude of results highlights how dramatically underrepresentation can influence the functioning of civic institutions.
Julia Tanndal, Daniel Waldenström, 13 April 2016
Financial deregulation in the US has been shown to be associated with rising income inequality over the past four decades. This column looks at the income effects of financial deregulation in the UK and Japan during the 1980s and 1990s. As in the US, deregulation substantially increased the shares of income going to the very top of the distribution. These findings highlight the importance of financial markets in the evolution of income inequality in society.
Christian Hilber, Wouter Vermeulen, 10 April 2016
It costs a relatively large amount of money to buy a house in the UK – something readers from the UK will almost certainly agree with. But economists differ over why this is. This column argues that strict planning regulations are a prime culprit for sky-high prices and that without any real regulatory change, it is the young that will suffer.
Elias Einiö, Henry Overman, 07 April 2016
Areas experiencing poor economic performance are often targeted by governments with programmes aimed at improving employment. However, there are concerns that any increases in employment come at the cost of reduced employment elsewhere. This column examines the displacement effects of one such programme in the UK. While employment increased within the targeted areas, there were comparable decreases in employment just outside the areas’ boundaries. These findings suggest place-based policies should focus on traded activities that are less susceptible to local displacement effects.
Swati Dhingra, Hanwei Huang, Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, Thomas Sampson, John Van Reenen, 04 April 2016
The economic consequences of leaving the EU are at the heart of the Brexit debate. This column studies how changes in trade and fiscal transfers to the EU following Brexit would affect living standards in the UK. Across a range of scenarios, Brexit leads to lower income per capita, but the magnitude of the loss depends on what trade policies the UK adopts post-Brexit. To minimise the economic costs of Brexit, the UK would have to remain closely integrated into the Single Market.
Angus Armstrong, 09 March 2016
The upcoming vote on the UK’s membership of the EU has sparked a vibrant debate on topics ranging from sovereignty and sterling to migrants and the military. This column discusses evidence on the economics of Britain’s EU membership drawn from a recent conference where both sides of the debate were represented.
Swati Dhingra, Thomas Sampson, 04 March 2016
In June, UK voters will decide whether to remain part of the EU. This column explores the UK’s options if a majority votes in favour of Brexit. One possibility is for the UK, like Norway, to join the European Economic Area and thereby retain access to the European Single Market. An alternative would be to negotiate bilateral treaties with the EU, as Switzerland has done. All options, however, involve a trade-off between political sovereignty and economic benefits.
Nauro F. Campos, Corrado Macchiarelli, 03 March 2016
There seems to be a robust consensus that the relationship between the countries in the EU that use the euro as their currency (‘euro-ins’) and those that do not (‘euro-outs’) is the most important of the four areas in the ‘new settlement’ between the UK and the EU. This column presents new econometric estimates showing that, after the introduction of the euro, the UK and Eurozone business cycles became significantly more synchronised. It is likely this upsurge in synchronisation increased the costs of a potential UK exit from the EU.
Peter Egger, Martin Ruf, Valeria Merlo, Georg Wamser, 09 February 2016
Many countries exempt foreign-sourced income from taxation at home, with income taxed only in the source country. In 2009, the UK moved from a system of tax credit to a system of tax exemption of foreign-earned income of firms. This column looks at the effects of this reform on firm behaviour. Immediately following the reform, firms were induced to pay significantly more dividends to the UK and decreased their investments. But neither effect persisted in the long run.
Alessandro Gavazza, Mattia Nardotto, Tommaso Valletti, 31 January 2016
The internet is lauded for increasing access to information, but it is unclear whether this translates into a better-informed and more engaged voting populace. This column uses UK data to determine how the internet has changed voting patterns and aggregate policy choices. Internet penetration is found to be associated with a decrease in voter turnout, mainly among the lower socioeconomic demographic. Internet diffusion is also found to reduce local government expenditure, in particular on policies targeting less-educated voters. These findings point to a trade-off between the ‘digital divide’ and the ‘political divide’.
Wouter den Haan, Martin Ellison, Ethan Ilzetzki, Michael McMahon, Ricardo Reis, 28 January 2016
The beginning of 2016 has seen dramatic developments in key markets, including falls in share prices, low oil prices, and a slowdown in some emerging market economies. This column summarises the views expressed on these issues by leading experts in the monthly Centre for Macroeconomics survey. While all recognise the considerable uncertainty in the world economy, fewer than a third fear that these events will have a significant negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery. The prevailing argument is that any negative effects of lower foreign demand and market instability will be compensated by the benefits of lower oil prices.