NIESR’s 80th Anniversary - Special Issue of the Economic Review
The latest issue of the National Institute Economic Review, published yesterday, focuses on some of the highlights of our research in the past 80 years, showcasing in particular the Institute’s contributions to macroeconomic modelling and forecasting, as well as to the study of productivity, globalisation and labour economics.
The five articles, introduced by an overview from NIESR’s President Sir Charlie Bean, are:
- Macroeconomic modelling at the Institute: hopes, challenges and a lasting contribution, by Ray Barrell (Centre for Macroeconomics, LSE; Brunel University London), Andy Blake (Bank of England ) and Garry Young (NIESR);
- Macro modelling at the NIESR: its recent history, by S.G. Hall (University of Leicester) and S.G.B. Henry (NIESR);What is holding back UK productivity? Lessons from decades of measurement, by Geoff Mason (NIESR and LLAKES- Centre for Learning and Life Chances, UCL Institute of Education), Mary O’Mahony (NIESR, King’s College London and ESCoE- Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence) and Rebecca Riley (NIESR, LLAKES and ESCoE);
- Some recent developments in labour economics, by Peter Dolton (University of Sussex and NIESR);
- The international economy: bind or boon? by Jagjit S. Chadha (NIESR)
Barrell et al celebrates the development of macroeconomic modelling at the Institute and the contribution it has made to public life. NIESR is a world leader in macroeconomic modelling and forecasting. It has produced quarterly economic forecasts for around sixty years, supported by macroeconomic models. The aim of the original builders of macroeconomic models was to transform understanding of how economies worked and use that knowledge to improve economic policy. The article describes how that motivation was taken forward, focusing particularly on the developments over the last thirty years.
The article by Hall and Henry charts the evolution of mainly empirical research at the NIESR over the 1970s and 80s. As was all too evident there were very large discrete technical improvements in data handling and manipulation over this period. Less well appreciated were the effects on the economy of major supply-side shocks coming from the World economy leading to ‘Stagflation’ and, interconnected but somewhat later, in the UK, marked changes in macro policy regime. NIESR engaged at an early stage in these innovations; applying the mantra that an informed criticism was more efficient than an uninformed one. During this period it became a leader in the econometrics of applied macro modelling under different expectations assumptions, including the rational expectations hypothesis (REH).
Mason et al review the evidence on UK productivity performance, identifying what we know about the causes of its weakness, what we do not know and what this means for policy. They consider the evidence through the lens of developments in economic measurement, drawing in particular on the work of National Institute researchers past and present, and with a view to the key measurement challenges ahead that, unlocked, will help us understand better what is holding back UK productivity.
In his article Dolton takes a short personal ‘helicopter ride’ over the main policy issues in the UK labour market, putting them into the context of the developments which have taken place in applied econometrics. He reviews NIESR’s role in the study of labour economics in post war Britain and some recent advances of importance in the current NIESR research agenda.
The Institute has long examined overseas developments in order to understand better domestic macroeconomic dynamics. Chadha notes that the organising principle for post-war period was solely the impact on net trade with an implicit take on whether the exchange rate was at an appropriate level. The external sector was viewed as a constraint on domestic activity. But now increasingly integrated factor markets in the modern era of globalisation means that the overseas sector plays a fundamental role in the evolution of both aggregate demand and supply in the UK economy and it is increasingly hard to disentangle the overseas from the domestic sectors.
Notes for editors:
The research reflects the authors’ views and does not necessarily reflect the views of the institutions that they may represent.
For full copies of these papers and queries for the authors please contact the NIESR Press Office: Luca Pieri on 020 7654 1931 / email@example.com
The National Institute Economic Review is a quarterly journal of NIESR. Published in February, May, August and November, it is available from Sage Publications Ltd (http://ner.sagepub.com/) or at firstname.lastname@example.org
NIESR aims to promote, through quantitative and qualitative research, a deeper understanding of the interaction of economic and social forces that affect people's lives, and the ways in which policies can improve them.
Latest News from
Adam Smith Inst - Size Does Not Matter22/01/2019 14:35:00
Micro-homes central to inner-London living says Adam Smith Institute
IFG - Whitehall Monitor 2019: Brexit impact being felt throughout government22/01/2019 13:35:00
The uncertainties of Brexit are causing serious disruptions across government and have distracted from the day to day business of government including the delivery of public services and management of major projects, a new report finds.
Adam Smith Inst - We don't understand why Oxfam is so concerned about US University debt22/01/2019 12:35:00
It’s the time of the year again when Oxfam sends out a reminder that the poorest in the world are actually doing better than ever before, but spun in such a way that suggests the world is in crisis. Head of Research, Matthew Lesh, has gone through the report and calls out its failings:
NHS Confederation - NAO report is reminder of 'huge challenges' faced by health service22/01/2019 11:40:00
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, responded to the National Audit Office's report on NHS financial sustainability
The King’s Fund responds to the National Audit Office (NAO) report on NHS sustainability22/01/2019 11:35:00
Richard Murray, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund commented on the National Audit Office (NAO) report on NHS financial sustainability
IEA - Oxfam’s obsession with the rich distracts from their aim of tackling poverty22/01/2019 10:35:00
The IEA reacts to Oxfam's inequality report
IFG - Statement: Select committees must demand update on government’s no deal Brexit plans22/01/2019 09:35:00
Dr Hannah White, Deputy Director of the Institute for Government, said: “Leaving the EU without a deal is currently the UK’s default Brexit option. Parliamentary attempts to delay the exit date do not change that.
NIESR reacts to the latest ONS CPI inflation statistics17/01/2019 15:28:00
According to figures released this morning by the ONS, consumer price index inflation fell by 0.2 percentage points to 2.1 per cent in the year to December 2018.
IEA reacts to the EAT-Lancet report outlining their dietary prescriptions for the world17/01/2019 10:35:00
The ‘EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health’ launches its dietary prescription for the world’s 7.6 billion people in Oslo this week, kicking off a jet-setting tour of no fewer than 35 launch events around the world.
IFG - Staff turnover is weakening the civil service17/01/2019 09:35:00
Excessive staff turnover in the civil service is costing the government up to £74 million a year in recruitment, training and lost productivity. The indirect costs of turnover are even higher, including disruptive leadership changes contributing to major projects like Universal Credit going awry and weakened institutional memory damaging policy development in key areas.