National Institute Economic Review

US and UK Labour Markets Before and During the Covid-19 Crash

We examine labour market performance in the US and the UK prior to the onset of the Covid-19 crash. We then track the changes that have occurred in the months and days from the beginning of March 2020 using what we call the Economics of Walking About (EWA) that shows a collapse twenty times faster and much deeper than the Great Recession. We examine unemployment insurance claims by state by day in the US as well as weekly national data.

Economic Crisis: Virtual Special Issue

Our latest "virtual issue" of our Economic Review focussing on Economic Crisis


Is the UK Productivity Slowdown Unprecedented?

We estimate trend UK labour productivity growth using a Hodrick-Prescott filter method. We use the results to compare downturns where the economy fell below its pre-existing trend. We find that the current productivity slowdown has resulted in productivity being 19.7 per cent below the pre-2008 trend path in 2018. This is nearly double the previous worst productivity shortfall ten years after the start of a downturn. On this criterion the slowdown is unprecedented in the past 250 years.

Does intellectual property rights protection constitute a barrier to renewable energy? An econometric analysis

This study uses an econometric approach to investigate the role of IPR protection on renewable energy adoption using panel data of 102 countries at five-year intervals over the period 1990–2005. The Ginarte-Park index is used as a measure of the strength of intellectual property protection while the adoption of renewable energy is measured by the share of renewable energy in total final energy use.

Stranded Assets and Sovereign States

There is evidence that the risk of stranded assets in the oil and gas sector is underpriced in financial markets. Publicly traded Western oil and gas companies are starting to write down assets, opening up the possibility that more rationalisation of value is likely to come. To the extent that large oil companies diversify portfolios to include cleaner energy and carbon sequestration technologies, it could reduce the risk of a sudden cascading change in the stock valuation of these firms and related bond and credit markets.

The Changing Role of Carbon Pricing in the EU

Carbon pricing has been the most prominent climate change mitigation policy for the EU since the launch of its emissions trading system (ETS) in 2005. Since then, the context of international climate policy as well as of the socio-political and economical context of decarbonisation has changed considerably. The 2015 Paris Agreement engages virtually every country unlike its predecessor, while non-carbon pricing policies have led to rapid cost reductions in renewables, even if other sectors (particularly in energy-intensive industry) have not seen similar developments.

India in the Coming ‘Climate G2’?

China and the United States are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, making them pivotal players in global climate negotiations. Within the coming decade, however, India is set to become the most important counterpart to the United States, as it overtakes China as the country with the most at stake depending on the type of global burden-sharing agreements reached, thus becoming a member of the ‘Climate G2’. We create a hypothetical global carbon market based on modelling emissions reduction commitments across countries and regions relative to their marginal abatement costs.

Introduction: The Economic Implications of Climate Change Mitigaton Policies

The articles in this issue of the Review highlight some of the economic issues involved in acting to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with the ambition to limit global temperature increases. Together they help explain why progress in tackling this “urgent problem”is likely to be slow even though “we know how to do it”.


World overview: Forecast summary

  • Global economic growth slowed again last year as increases in tariffs and uncertainty about future tariff impositions and their implications for production activity continued to have negative effects on industrial production, especially in the advanced economies, and global trade.
  • With a weaker global economic outlook and continued low inflation, several central banks loosened monetary policy last year and these actions should provide some tailwinds to support global growth this year and into next.