Thursday, 16 May 2013

Moving to the NIESR blog..

With the launch of the new NIESR website, my blog is moving to the NIESR blog here. Links below will redirect, and new posts will be posted there. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The impacts of immigration: my summary of the evidence (video)

My summary of the economic evidence on immigration: labour markets, benefits, public services and the long-term impacts on growth and productivity (8 minutes): 





Monday, 6 May 2013

White flight: "600,000 have quit London in a decade". The true figure is far higher

The Daily Mail is rarely knowingly understated when it comes to a scare story, especially about immigration. However, sometimes ignorance of basic statistical concepts does the job for them. So it is for today's piece, "How rise of white flight is creating a segregated UK", which states: 
"600,000 HAVE QUIT LONDON IN A DECADE
More than 600,000 white British Londoners have left the capital in a decade"
This is nonsense. The true figure for the number of white Londoners who've left is far higher - once again, the Mail confuses net with gross figures.  Even assuming that we are only talking about Londoners moving from the capital to other parts of the UK (that is, ignoring international emigration, much of which may be non-British and/or non-white), the ONS' best estimate is that about 240,000 people moved out of London in the single year ending June 2011 - over a decade, that adds up to well over 2 million.   

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Comment on Reinhart and Rogoff's FT article

My letter to the FT responds to Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart's opinion piece (2 May):

"In their article 'Austerity is not the only answer to a debt problem', Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart argue:
"the debate needs to be reconnected to the facts. Let us start with one: the ratios of debt to gross domestic product are at historically high levels in many countries, many rising above previous wartime peaks."

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Underemployment in the UK

In a new paper published today in the latest issue of the National Institute Economic Review, economists David Bell and David Blanchflower of the University of Stirling and Dartmouth College introduce a new measure of labour market slack. The conventional measure of the difference between supply and demand in the labour market is the unemployment rate. But it does not capture a phenomenon which has become increasingly important during the current recession - underemployment.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The deficit is falling..

[Updated 17.00 with HMT response: see end]

The deficit is falling!  Today's figures show that the budget deficit for 2012-13 (public sector net borrowing, excluding some of the more obvious distortions) was £120.6 billion  - £0.3 billion lower than in 2011-12. So maybe the Chancellor's cunning plan - to reduce last year's deficit by not paying some of the UK's bills until this year, also known as "the cheque is in the post" strategy, has worked.  Or, more prosaically, the government has simply cut public investment again - net investment was £2.4 billion lower in March 2013 than in March 2012, while the current deficit was about £1 billion higher.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Recessions and recoveries: a historical perspective (updated April 9, 2013)

Here is NIESR's chart showing the path of recession and recovery in various previous downturns, updated for our estimate of monthly GDP, published April 9, 2013.