Britain's productivity growth has halted. The evidence is clear. Since the financial crisis, output per hour worked has been effectively stagnant, only re-hitting the peaks seen at the end of 2007 in late 2016. This is unprecedented. To see the scale of the deviation from trend, if it had continued to grow as it did ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The Equality Trust is the latest organisation to call for the mandatory reporting of the ratio between the pay of the highest and lowest earners in UK companies. At first sight this is a small step that would simply increase transparency in pay practices – who could reasonably object? But in reality this proposal would ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Matthew Taylor was doing the rounds at the weekend, talking about the Review of Modern Employment Practices which he is conducting on behalf of the government – more evidence that Mrs May wants to rebrand the Conservatives as a sort of Blue Labour. Taylor’s Review Group has been touring Britain talking with people about the ... Continue reading

Len Shackleton writes for City AM

Len Shackleton, Editorial Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs has written for City AM on Matthew Taylor's review of modern employment practices which he is conducting on behalf of the government. In his article Len argues that politicians think that ever-increasing "rights" can be met from business profits. Taylor wants the self-employed to ... Continue reading
"Britain is damning itself to be a low wage, low productivity economy”. How many headlines like that have we read over the past few years? Certainly, the UK has performed poorly when it comes to overall real wage growth since the financial crisis, reflective of weak aggregate productivity growth. But often these average statistics are ... Continue reading

Chris Snowdon is quoted in City AM

Chris Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs has been quoted in City AM on the reality of the changes in median wages. In the article Chris is quoted as proving that the conclusion made by many that there has been a decline in median real wages does not follow. Median ... Continue reading
The chart below has been retweeted thousands of times on Twitter in the past week, accompanied by such pearls of wisdom as 'The UK is the only country in the developed world where workers are getting poorer while the country is getting richer'.   On Sunday, this counsel of despair was echoed by the ever-despairing ... Continue reading
Expectations about the impact of Brexit on the flow of people into and out of the UK are unrealistic. This is true for both anti-immigration Brexiteers and pro-(EU-)immigration Remainers. The former salivate at the prospect of a precipitous drop in arrivals from the rest of Europe after the UK’s departure from the EU. The latter ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Continued from Part 1   The great 20th century economist Joseph Schumpeter noted that it is not our technological capabilities that hold back our innovative powers, but the economic and social conditions of a time. This aversion to “creative destruction” has been present throughout history, with even Queen Elizabeth I rejecting the patenting of a ... Continue reading
Labour Market
I was on The Big Questions (BBC1) recently talking about poverty. Specifically I was trying to help answer the question 'Will more children be raised in poverty?' The topic may have been inspired by a report from the Resolution Foundation released this week which predicted falling living standards and rising inequality for the rest of the ... Continue reading