The four broad research themes
- Research theme #1: The politics of constructing economic performance assessment
- Research theme #2: Piloting economic policy under conditions of pervasive uncertainty
- Research theme #3: Brexit, UK economic growth and the British model of capitalism
- Research theme #4: Brexit and UK's economic growth in the public debate
Specific research questions
What will be the impact of Brexit on the British model of capitalism?
A process of political economic transition as significant as Brexit clearly has major implications for the nature and future trajectory of the British model of capitalism. How will Brexit reshape Britain’s growth model?
The Global Financial Crisis and impact on the UK's growth trajectory
How did the global financial crisis alter the UK’s growth trajectory?
A decade on, policy-makers are still getting to grips with how hard the 2007-8 crisis hit the UK economy and its growth potential and trajectory.
Economic concepts as political constructions?
To what extent are the economic concepts such as the output gap, used by the OBR to frame and pilot economic policy political constructions?
This project will explore how far economic forecasts are grounded in firm evidence and unquestioned scientific methodologies, or if they are in fact based on contested methods, bedevilled by uncertainties, and subject to substantial retrospective revisions.
Government policy and economic shocks - what impact on actual and potential growth?
What assumptions does the OBR make about effects of government policy (and shocks like the global financial crisis, or Brexit) on actual and potential growth?
The impact of Brexit on taxing, spending and UK economic policy
How will Brexit affect taxing, spending and UK economic policy?
It will have both a short term and a long term impact on UK growth rates and potential growth rates. These in turn shape the path of the public finances. If the economy is smaller (larger) and and growing more slowly (quickly) it affects the amount of money available for public expenditure.
OBR growth forecasts and political debate on austerity
How have OBR growth forecasts shaped UK party-political debates about austerity?
Growth forecasts crucially mediate the politics of austerity through their implications for the tax take, and in assumptions they make about effects of government policy (and shocks like the GFC or Brexit) on actual and potential growth.
The construction of UK growth prospects
How are UK growth prospects constructed?
Are Government policy options opened up or closed off by particular renderings of Britain’s growth trajectory and their assumptive foundations (notably about Brexit effects)?
OBR and pervasive uncertainty
How do the the OBR deal with pervasive uncertainty?
The project assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each growth evaluation approach, paying particular attention to the assumptions they make, how uncertainty is taken into account.
OBR to gauge impact of Brexit on UK growth and economy
How can the OBR gauge Brexit’s impact on UK growth and the economy?
The impacts of Brexit on potential output, investment, trade, FDI and productivity will remain highly uncertain, even in hindsight. The judgement of prospective path for potential output is always surrounded by 'considerable uncertainty', to which 'uncertainties associated with the UK’s exit from the EU are likely to add’.