Blogs: Economy

Economies are complex systems.  Businesses are interlinked through fragmented supply-chains that connect diverse countries, regions and cities across the world. We help you understand this complexity and the role of tax and finance, innovation and infrastructure on economic development.

The North-South divide: the performance gap

north south divide performance gap

It is nearly four years since the inception of the Northern Powerhouse. Has the performance gap between the Greater South East and the rest of England, the North-South divide, narrowed?
In short, no. Recent newspaper articles refer to the persistence of the gap between the north…

Does productivity necessarily increase with city size?

In his second guest blogpost Ron Martin, Professor of Economic Geography, University of Cambridge explores whether the productivity of Britain’s northern cities would improve by substantially expanding their size, or seeking to merge them into a single very large city.
One of…

Should we fear the rise of the machines?

How will increased robotisation affect income, production and consumption? Will society benefit from the transition to automation in the long-run? Are humans destined for redundancy and poverty?
In his second blogpost on this subject our Director, Hector Pollitt explains why eco…

Saving Santa and the North Pole’s economy

In this light-hearted blogpost our Director, Hector Pollitt wonders how an economist would set about modelling the economy of the North Pole and finds that the challenges are not insurmountable.
But how on earth do you account for ‘magic’?  Is there a currency? What about the e…

Rise of the robots – and the fall of capitalism?

Could robots bring about the downfall of capitalism? Will some humans become totally redundant or will workers simply find jobs in other sectors?
Hector Pollitt explains why scenarios currently being assessed at CE are pretty pessimistic as far as jobs are concerned.
The end of…

The geographical dimension of the productivity problem

By Ron Martin, Professor of Economic Geography, University of Cambridge
In his budget speech (24 November, 2017), the Chancellor of the Exchequer made much of the need to raise national productivity.

Since 2007, and the onset of the financial crisis, productivity growth in t…

The tyranny of the present and how to avoid it

tyranny present

By Dr James Derbyshire, Senior Research Fellow at Middlesex University
In both our professional and personal lives, what is most available and prominent in our mind’s eye is what is already true, as represented by the present situation. Because of this availability of the pres…

Autonomous vehicles: location, opportunity and safety

Autonomous vehicles will change settlement patterns by removing the need to live close to our workplace or public transportation. This will enable people to leave cities, swapping urban life for peaceful, rural locations.
Accidents caused by drink driving and human error will be…

Electric vehicles: what will happen to fuel duty revenues?

Electric vehicle use will impact fuel duty revenue

An issue that often arises when discussing a transition to electric vehicle use is fuel duty revenues, and how and whether governments will enforce new taxes to replace them.

How much revenue does fuel tax generate, and how long would it take for UK fuel duty revenue to reach …