Dr Ingrid Storm from The University of Manchester finds that people who live in countries with lower GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and lower social welfare spending are more religious on average. This is in part because religiosity can act as an alternative form of social security when government welfare is not available. The results have […]
The productivity puzzle
Last week, policy@manchester hosted a roundtable on productivity with representatives from HM Treasury, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and academics from The University of Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds. Here, Professor Diane Coyle reflects on the discussion and lays out her views on what needs to be done to boost the UK’s economic productivity. If the pre-financial […]
Do the new GDP figures prove that ‘all’s well that ends well’ for the Brexiteers?
This week, the first official GDP figures since the vote to leave the European Union were released by the Office for National Statistics. Although there was a slow down in the economic growth from 0.7% to 0.5%, the figures were stronger than some pessimistic economists had predicted. Professor Diane Coyle uses a Brexit lens to […]
Devo Manc – risk, opportunity or threat?
The handing over of the health budget to Greater Manchester authorities carries both risk and opportunity says Diane Coyle, who argues that delivering on data and analysis will be key for policymakers. The risk is obvious: as with the entire Devo Manc process, those concerned have to make it work. They have to spend […]
SR2015: £35bn on debt interest? But what about the £375bn held by the Bank of England?
More fast reaction from Colin Talbot to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2015. One thing has puzzled me since the introduction of “Quantitative Easing” (QE) in 2009. Between then and 2012 the Bank of England ‘bought’ £375bn of government bonds from their previous private sector owners. This is a pretty sizeable chunk of the total Government […]
Is the use of statistics leading to short-term economic thinking?
Diane Coyle asks if our use of economic statistics is distorting policy and making it focused on the short-term. When the same question crops up in some very different places, it is a signal of the importance of the issue. In two events recently, participants have challenged the role of the media in the economy. […]
Varieties of the democratic state market?
When Francis Fukuyama published his now famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) initial essay on “The End of History” in 1989 it provoked a furious discussion that continues to this day (the later book version is here) and is continued here by Colin Talbot. The discussion has often generated more heat than […]
43 and 36 – Locking in the smaller state: George Osborne’s ‘Summer Budget’
The general consensus is this is a “big” Budget with lots in it. It is, but unfortunately most commentators are missing the really big picture, says Colin Talbot. To be able to grasp what lies behind George Osborne’s ‘Summer Budget’ 2015 you need to remember just two numbers: 43 and 36. 43 Modern advanced economies […]
Could DevoManc create an economy for the common good?
Mark Burton tries to imagine how city-region devolution might help to produce a fairer and more sustainable society. The Greater Manchester devolution deal is firmly rooted in a highly orthodox economic and social model. Other deals, with regions hand-picked by the Treasury, are at various stages of gestation. There is every reason to think they […]
UK GDP grows more slowly – should we worry?
Professor Diane Coyle explains that the latest, disappointing, GDP figures tell us little about what is actually happening in the economy. That won’t stop them being used by all the parties in the last days of the General Election campaign. It was no surprise that the General Election spin machines should try to put their […]