Tuesday 3 December 2019 The Latest from Labour

As economists we believe the Labour party deserves to form the next UK government.

This letter originally appeared in the Financial Times on 26 November 2019 

The UK economy needs reform. For too long it has prioritised consumption over investment, short-term financial returns over long-term innovation, rising asset values over rising wages, and deficit reduction over the quality of public services. The results are now plain. We have had ten years of near zero productivity growth. Corporate investment has stagnated. Average earnings are still lower than in 2008. A gulf has arisen between London and the South East and the rest of the country. And public services are under intolerable strain – which the economic costs of a hard Brexit would only make worse. We now moreover face the urgent imperative of acting on the climate and environmental crisis. 

Given private sector reluctance, what the UK economy needs is a serious injection of public investment, which can in turn leverage private finance attracted by the expectation of higher demand. Such investment needs to be directed into the large-scale and rapid decarbonisation of energy, transport, housing, industry and farming; the support of innovation- and export- oriented businesses; and public services. It is clear that this will require an active and green industrial strategy, aimed at improving productivity and spreading investment across the country. Experience elsewhere (not least in Germany) suggests a National Investment Bank would greatly help. With long-term real interest rates now negative, it makes basic economic sense for the government to borrow for this, spreading the cost over the generations who will benefit from the assets. As the IMF has acknowledged, when interest payments are low and investment raises economic growth, public debt is sustainable. 

At the same time, we need a serious attempt to raise wages and productivity. A higher minimum wage can help do this, alongside tighter regulation of the worst practices in the gig economy. Bringing workers onto company boards and giving them a stake in their companies, as most European countries do in some form, will also help. The UK’s outlier rate of corporation tax can clearly be raised, not least for the highly profitable digital companies. 

As economists, and people who work in various fields of economic policy, we have looked closely at the economic prospectuses of the political parties.

It seems clear to us that the Labour Party has not only understood the deep problems we face, but has devised serious proposals for dealing with them. We believe it deserves to form the next government. 

Yours, 

David G. Blanchflower Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College; Professor of Economics. University of Stirling; former member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee 

Victoria Chick Emeritus Professor of Economics, University College London 

Lord Meghnad Desai Emeritus Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science 

Stephany Griffith-Jones Emeritus Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex; Financial Markets Director, Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University 

Simon Wren-Lewis Emeritus Professor of Economics and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford 

Jonathan Aldred Director of Studies in Economics, Emmanuel College, and Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge 

Tanweer Ali Lecturer, Empire State College, State University of New York 

Patrick Allen Chair, Progressive Economy Forum 

Carolina Alves Joan Robinson Research Fellow in Heterodox Economics, Faculty of Economics and Girton College, University of Cambridge 

Antonio Andreoni Senior Lecturer in Economics, SOAS, University of London 

Shawky Arif Senior Lecturer in International Development, University of Northampton 

Joseph Baines Lecturer of International Political Economy, King’s College London 

Kate Bayliss Senior Research Fellow, SOAS, University of London 

Hannah Bargawi Senior Lecturer and co-Head of Department of Economics, SOAS University of London 

Adotey Bing-Pappoe Senior Lecturer in Economics, Greenwich University 

Peter Bloom Professor of Management, Essex Business School, University of Essex 

Bruno Bonizzi Senior Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Business School 

Dr Alberto Botta Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich 

Andrew Brown Professor of Economics and Political Economy, University of Leeds 

Mark Bryan Reader in Economics, University of Sheffield 

Mike Bull Reader in Social Enterprise, Manchester Metropolitan University 

Jonathan Busch Research Fellow in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds 

Terry Byres Professor Emeritus of Political Economy, SOAS, University of London 

Robert Calvert Jump Research Fellow, University of Greenwich 

Ha-Joon Chang Reader, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge 

John Christensen Director, Tax Justice Network 

David Cobham Professor of Economics, Heriot-Watt University 

Christine Cooper Professor of Accounting, University of Edinburgh 

Christopher Cramer Professor of the Political Economy of Development, SOAS, University of London 

Bruce Cronin Professor of Economic Sociology, University of Greenwich 

Andrew Cumbers Professor of Regional Political Economy, University of Glasgow 

Yannis Dafermos Lecturer in Economics, SOAS University of London 

Hulya Dagdeviren Professor of Economic Development, University of Hertfordshire 

William Davies Professor in Political Economy, Goldsmiths, University of London 

Jerome De Henau Senior Lecturer in Economics, Open University 

Jonathan Di John Senior Lecturer, Political Economy of Development, SOAS, University of London 

Danny Dorling Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford 

Gary Dymski Professor of Applied Economics, University of Leeds 

Ciaran Driver Professor of Economics, School of Finance and Management, SOAS, University of London 

Trevor Evans Emeritus Professor of Economics, Berlin School of Economics and Law 

Andrew Fanning Marie Curie Research Fellow, Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds 

Ben Fine Emeritus Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies, London 

Felix FitzRoy Emeritus Professor of Economics, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews; Research Fellow, IZA, Bonn 

Guglielmo Forges Davanzati Professor of Political Economy, University of Salento and Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge 

Carlos Fortin Emeritus Fellow and Research Associate, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex 

Vasileios Fouskas Professor of International Politics and Economics, University of East London 

Daniela Gabor Professor of Economics and Macro-Finance, University of the West of England Bristol 

Giorgos Galanis Senior Lecturer in Economics, Goldsmiths, University of London 

Sara Gorgoni Associate Professor in Economics, University of Greenwich 

Ian Gough Visiting Professor in the Centre for Social Exclusion, London School of Economics 

Giorgos Gouzoulis Research Fellow, University College London 

John Grahl Emeritus Professor of Economics, Middlesex University 

Martin Greeley Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex 

Alexander Guschanski Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich 

Hassan Hakimian Emeritus Professor of Economics, SOAS, London 

Barbara Harriss-White Emeritus Professor, Wolfson College, Oxford 

Jostein Hauge Research Associate at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge 

Judith Heyer Emeritus Fellow, Somerville College, Oxford 

Ariane Hillig Lecturer in Economics, Goldsmiths, University of London 

Susan Himmelweit Emeritus Professor of Economics, Open University 

Peter Holmes Reader in Economics, University of Sussex 

Peter Howells Emeritus Professor of Monetary Economics, UWE Bristol 

Leslie Huckfield Lecturer, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University 

Tim Jackson Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Surrey 

Michael Jacobs Professorial Fellow, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield 

Sir Richard Jolly Emeritus Professor, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex 

Emily Jones Associate Professor in Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford 

Annina Kaltenbrunner Associate Professor in the Economics of Globalisation and the International Economy, University of Leeds 

Raphael Kaplinsky Emeritus Professorial Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, and Honorary Professor, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex 

Ewa Karwowski Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Hertfordshire 

Steve Keen Honorary Professor, University College London 

Effie Kesidou Associate Professor in Applied Economics, University of Leeds 

Mushtaq Khan Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London 

Andy Kilmister Senior Lecturer in Economics, Oxford Brookes University 

Suzanne J Konzelmann Reader in Management, Birkbeck, University of London 

Sunil Mitra Kumar Lecturer in Economics, King’s College London 

Ingrid Harvold Kvangraven Lecturer in International Development, University of York 

Neil Lancastle Senior Lecturer, Accounting and Finance, De Montfort University 

Stewart Lansley Visiting Fellow, University of Bristol 

Costas Lapavitsas Professor of Economics, SOAS, University of London 

Clive Lawson Director of Studies in Economics, Girton College Cambridge 

Jane Lethbridge Principal Lecturer, Business Faculty, University of Greenwich 

Merle Lipton Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London 

Michael Lipton Emeritus Professor of Economics, Sussex University 

Emanuele Lobina Principal Lecturer, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich 

Lorena Lombardozzi Lecturer in Economics, The Open University 

Pedro Mendes Loureiro Lecturer in Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge 

Terry McKinley Professor of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London 

Laurie Macfarlane Head of Patient Finance, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose 

Maureen Mackintosh Professor of Economics, The Open University 

Julia Martin-Ortegqa Professor of Ecological Economics, University of Leeds, UK 

Paul Mason Visiting Professor of Economics, Wolverhampton University 

Imko Meyenburg Senior Lecturer in Economics and International Business, Anglia Ruskin University 

Jo Michell Associate Professor of Economics, University of the West of England Bristol 

Jonathan Michie Professor of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, University of Oxford 

Johnna Montgomerie Reader in International Political Economy and Head of Department, European and International Studies, King’s College London 

Simon Mohun Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, Queen Mary University of London 

Richard Murphy Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, City, University of London 

Bona Muzaka Reader in International Political Economy, King’s College London 

Natalya Naqvi Assistant Professor in International Political Economy, London School of Economics 

Susan Newman Associate Professor in Economics, University of the West of England 

Maria Nikolaidi Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich 

Dan O’Neill Associate Professor in Ecological Economics, University of Leeds 

Ozlem Onaran Professor of Economics, University of Greenwich 

Christine Oughton Professor of Management Economics, SOAS, University of London 

Carlos Oya Professor of Political Economy of Development, SOAS, University of London 

Cem Oyvat Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich 

José Gabriel Palma Emeritus Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Cambridge University 

John Palmer Former Political Director, European Policy Centre, Brussels 

Alberto Paloni Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Glasgow 

Marco Veronese Passarella Lecturer of Economics, University of Leeds 

Jonathan Perraton Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Sheffield 

Avinash Persaud Emeritus Professor, Gresham College; former senior banker, J.P.Morgan and State Street 

Ann Pettifor Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME) 

Valentino Piana Director of the Economics Web Institute 

Kate Pickett Professor of Epidemiology, Deputy Director of the Centre for Future Health, University of York 

Jeff Powell Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich 

Kate Raworth Senior Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford 

Hugo Radice Life Fellow, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds 

Howard Reed Director, Landman Economics 

Matteo Rizzo Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London 

Pallavi Roy Lecturer in International Economics, SOAS University of London 

Shampa Roy-Mukherjee Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of East London 

Josh Ryan-Collins Head of Research, Institute for Innovation and Public Policy, University College London 

Magnus Ryner Professor of International Political Economy, King’s College London 

Alfredo Saad Filho Professor of Political Economy and International Development, King’s College London 

Diego Sanchez-Ancochea Professor of the Political Economy of Development, University of Oxford 

Malcolm Sawyer Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Leeds 

Gregor Semieniuk Lecturer in Economics, SOAS, University of London; Research Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst 

Marianne Sensier Research Fellow in Economics, University of Manchester 

Mimoza Shabani Senior Lecturer in Financial Economics, University of East London 

Alan Shipman Lecturer in Economics, Open University 

Kalim Siddiqui Senior Lecturer in International Political Economy, University of Huddersfield 

Prem Sikka Professor of Accounting and Finance, University of Sheffield 

Andrew Simms Co-director, New Weather Institute; Research Associate, Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex 

Pritam Singh Visiting Scholar, Wolfson College, University of Oxford 

Alan Southern University of Liverpool Management School 

Guy Standing Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, University of London 

Julia Steinberger Professor of Social Ecology and Ecological Economics, University of Leeds 

Sara Stevano Postdoctoral Research Associate, European and International Studies, King’s College London 

Frances Stewart Emeritus Professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford 

Engelbert Stockhammer Professor of International Political Economy, King’s College London 

Beth Stratford Fellow at the New Economics Foundation 

Hanna Szymborska, Lecturer in Economics, Open University 

Jeff Tan Associate Professor in Political Economy, Aga Khan University, UK 

Paul Temple Reader in Economics, University of Surrey 

Geoff Tily Senior Economist, Trades Union Congress 

Jan Toporowski Professor of Economics and Finance, SOAS University of London 

Daniele Tori Lecturer in Finance, Open University Business School 

Mehmet Ugur Professor of Economics and Institutions, University of Greenwich 

Elvira Uyarra Reader in Innovation Management and Policy, University of Manchester 

Elisa Van Waeyenberge Senior Lecturer and Co-Head of Department of Economics, SOAS University of London 

Roberto Veneziani Professor of Economics, Queen Mary University of London 

Ragupathy Venkatachalam Lecturer in Economics, Goldsmiths, University of London 

Bhaskar Vira Professor of Political Economy and Head of Department of Geography, University of Cambridge 

Robert H. Wade Professor of Global Political Economy, London School of Economics and Political Science 

Geoff Whittam Reader Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University 

John Weeks Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, SOAS University of London 

Rafael Wildauer Lecturer in Economics, University of Greenwich 

Richard Wilkinson Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham. 

Christina Wolf Senior Lecturer in Economics, Kingston University 

Adrian Wood Emeritus Professor of International Development, University of Oxford 

Yuliya Yurchenko Senior Lecturer in Political Economy, University of Greenwich, UK