Charles Manski, 22 November 2011

Policymakers and the media often rely on official estimates. But with policies that are so complex and often untested, these estimates are at best rough guesses – so why not be honest about it? This column calls for confidence intervals to be used in future policy debates.

Michael Joyce, Matthew Tong, Robert Woods, 01 November 2011

With the Bank of England recently announcing an additional £75 billion of quantitative easing, a reasonable question to ask is whether the last £200 billion has made any difference. This argues that QE may have helped boost real GDP by as much as 2% and inflation by 1.5%, similar to the effect from a drop in the base rate of around 300 basis points.

Roger Alford, 12 September 2011

Ever since public money was used to bail out banks, the public has been demanding change in the way they are run. This is particularly the case in the UK, where the Independent Banking Commission presents its final report today. If it calls for a breakup of Britain’s banks into deposit and investment banks, this column argues that to follow such advice would be a grave mistake.

Amanda Goodall, 21 July 2011

Are hospitals better run by former doctors or by specialist managers? This column looks at the top-ranking hospitals in the US and finds that hospital-quality scores are about 25% higher in physician-run hospitals than in the average hospital.

Jennifer C Smith, 18 July 2011

Labour-market policy can try to make it easier to get hired or harder to get fired. This column asks which of these approaches policymakers should prioritise. Focusing on the UK, it finds that while job-finding rates could be improved, policies aimed at reducing the amount of job losses during a recession play an equally important role despite being less in vogue.

Charles Goodhart, Avinash Persaud, 13 May 2011

The UK’s Independent Commission on Banking was set up last year to consider reforms to promote financial stability and competition. This column reacts to the commission’s interim report released on 11 May 2011. It argues that the commissioners have a lot to ponder before the final report is due in September – they have not gone far enough.

Gylfi Zoega, Jon Danielsson, 27 April 2011

Icelanders have voted against providing a government guarantee for claims made by the UK and the Dutch governments against Iceland’s deposit insurance fund. This column argues that the heated debates surrounding the referendum may provide a glimpse into the challenges that lie ahead for European policymakers as they attempt to allocate losses suffered by banks between the taxpayers of different countries.

Henry Overman, 29 March 2011

When the global crisis hit, many predicted that London would suffer more than other parts of the UK, given the city’s reliance on the financial services industry. This column explores how the UK capital’s economy suffered far less than the rest of the country.

Christopher Heady, 14 March 2011

Have governments been cutting the right taxes? And are they choosing the best taxes to increase now that they need to balance the books? Using data from 21 OECD countries, this column argues that the best taxes to cut early on are income taxes for low earners, while the best taxes to increase – later on – are property taxes and consumption taxes.

John Van Reenen, 07 March 2011

The recent announcement that Pfizer will close its main UK research lab (where Viagra was created) is the latest bit of bad news to bite the British economy. This column argues that the UK government’s austerity programme is only making growth prospects worse. Instead of Plan B, it says that the government needs the economic equivalent of Pfizer’s little blue pill – a “Plan V”.

Jan Luiten van Zanden, 26 January 2011

China has been one of the world’s most dynamic economies in recent decades, but how did it fall so far behind? This column argues that the industrial revolution occurred in Europe rather than China because European entrepreneurs were eager to adopt machines to cut down on high labour costs. China didn’t “miss” the industrial revolution – it didn’t need it.

Friðrik Már Baldursson, 10 January 2011

Is the Icesave dispute between Iceland on one side and the Netherlands and the UK on the other becoming a real-life version of Groundhog Day – where we are trapped in the same day that repeats for all eternity? This column discusses what can be done to return us to normality.

Michael McMahon, Stephen Hansen, 25 September 2010

While committees of experts are becoming more common in public policy, how best to design them remains an open question. This column asks what external experts bring to the table. Examining behavioural differences between internal and external members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, it shows that differences in behaviour are driven by differences in information and in approaches to monetary policy.

Holger Breinlich, Chiara Criscuolo, 02 July 2010

Services trade accounts for a large and growing share of international trade - but we know very little about the firms carrying out this trade. Using firm-level data from the UK between 2000 and 2005, this column paints a detailed picture of importers and exporters of services, and discusses some of the resulting implications for economic policy.

Patrick Minford, Jingwen Fan, 19 February 2010

What happened to UK inflation in the 1970s? This column presents new research interpreting the period as an example of the “fiscal theory of the price level”. As predicted by the theory, inflation followed a random walk.

Thorvaldur Gylfason, 13 February 2010

How to stop a repeat of Iceland’s crisis – both in the country and elsewhere? This column provides eleven lessons covering asymmetric information, moral hazard, better warning systems and improved regulation, preventing banks becoming “too big to fail” and restricting asset bubbles, holding creators of externalities to account, and providing safeguards on political interference.

Friðrik Már Baldursson, 29 January 2010

Many expect Iceland’s March referendum on Icesave to produce a “no” vote. Despite the dire consequences, this column argues that Icelanders, faced with the hard end of the “ultimatum game”, are likely to reject the standing offer which they regard as unfair. This column proposes lowering the interest rate on the loans as a compromise that could solve the problem and avoid a referendum.

Jorge Ponce, 16 January 2010

What government agency should decide lender-of-last-resort policy? This column discusses the optimal allocation of decision-making authority, suggesting that the central bank decide emergency loans and the deposit insurance agency guarantee them. But providing greater liquidity assistance will also require punishment to deter moral hazard problems.

Jonathan Portes, 19 December 2009

A strong financial sector is essential to a modern economy, but private actions can impose enormous costs on taxpayers; a balance must be struck. This column explains why the UK Government believes that there is a case for increasing the costs of risk-taking to banks and their shareholders while reducing those borne by taxpayers.

Neil Shephard, 23 November 2009

The financial position of the UK Government suggests that its university sector may have its funding squeezed. In CEPR Policy Insight 42, Neil Shephard argues that universities should be able to charge income contingent tuition fees if their teaching costs are not met by the current tuition payments.

Pages

Events

CEPR Policy Research