Dear Colleague,

Happy New Year and welcome to our January 2021 newsletter.

You may have read over Christmas that David Tuckett and team’s project on narratives and monetary policy is gaining traction and was written-up in Gillian Tett’s FT Opinion article.

Recordings of our IMF workshops in December presenting Rosa Lastra and team’s far-reaching project on the legal dimensions of central bank digital currency can be found here.

We are pleased to report that we are working on a major workshop series on The Future of Economics with the OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges initiative.

This month we have two hub workshops: Macroeconomic Institutions and Globalisation where authors will present their final (or near final) results.

Publications are flowing fast. Philip McCann completed his project on UK regional and urban inequalities with three Working Papers and one policy brief here.

Dennis Snower has co-written two Working Papers on subjects which should be of concern to us all: Decoupling Economic and Social Prosperity and Humanistic Digital Governance.

All information and videos of past conferences are on our homepage or can be found by clicking on the links. If you would like to join any of our events, please ask Richard at

Thank you and best wishes,


Angus Armstrong
Director, Rebuilding Macroeconomics

Please spread the word if you know friends and colleagues who would like to engage with Rebuilding Macroeconomics by forwarding this newsletter and invite them to subscribe here. You can follow all of our news through our website,, on Twitter and YouTube.


Forthcoming Events

Two of our funded research projects in the macroeconomic institutions hub will present their final findings on January 14, 2021. 1) Opening the Black-box of the Household - Principal Investigators: Dr. Johnna Montgomerie and Dr. Ryan Davey and 2) Trajectories of Infrastructure Financing and Macroeconomic Policies in Practice - Principal Investigator: Dr Elisa Van Waeyenberge.

Programme details of the Workshop can be found here.

Our funded research projects in the globalisation hub will present their final findings on January 28, 2021. Programme details of the Workshop can be found here.

Completed Research Project:

Working Paper I: UK Interregional Inequality in a Historical and International Comparative Context
by Andre Carrascal-Incera, Philip McCann, Raquel Ortega-Argilés, and Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

This paper explores the nature and scale of inter-regional and inter-urban inequalities in the UK in the context of international comparisons and our aim is to identify the extent to which such inequalities are associated with strong national economic performance. We further explore UK inter-urban inequalities in the light of international evidence and then explain why observations of cities only tell us a partial story about the nature of interregional inequalities, especially in the case of the UK. Finally, we move on an OECD-wide analysis of the relationships between economic growth and interregional inequality. What we observe is that any such relationships are very weak, and the only real evidence of a positive relationship is in the post 2008 crisis period, a result which points to differentials in regional resilience rather than inequality-led growth.

Working Paper II: Capital Shocks, Real Estate Risks and the Effects of the Global Financial Crisis in US Cities
by Michael Daams, Philip McCann, Paolo Veneri, Richard Barkham, and Dennis Schoenmaker

This paper exploits a uniquely-detailed data set of real estate transactions to examine how the features of US cities relate to investment pricing and risk. Our analysis identifies how parts of the urban system were differently affected by the global financial crisis and provides a powerful explanation of why US economic growth suddenly went from spatial convergence to divergence.

Working Paper III: The Persistent Consequences of Adverse Shocks: How the 1970s Shaped UK Regional Inequality
by Patricia G. Rice, and Anthony J. Venables

The economic shocks experienced by the UK economy in the 1970s brought major changes in the spatial distribution of employment rates in the UK. This paper traces out the long run implications of these changes, suggesting that they were highly persistent and to a large extent shape current UK regional disparities. Most of the Local Authority Districts that experienced large negative shocks in the 1970s have high deprivation rates in 2015, and they constitute two-thirds of all districts with the highest deprivation rates. We conclude that neither economic adjustment processes nor policy measures have acted to reverse the effect of negative shocks incurred nearly half a century ago.

Policy Brief: The Resilience of British and Towns to Economic Shocks
by Ron Martin, and Ben Gardiner

This is a short policy discussion on issues that requiring detailed investigation include the causes of local economic resilience, and why these vary from area to area; and how resilience is influenced by, and in turn changes, the underlying growth dynamics of localities.

All our resources are now easily accessible through our homepage, including the recordings of our past events, the final outputs of our projects, working and discussion papers.


As our research projects come to completion, we will publish the working papers on our Publications page alongside our Special Issue E-Journal publications and discussion papers.

Working Paper Series

Working Paper No. 27: Humanistic Digital Governance
by Dennis J. Snower and Paul Twomey

We identify an important feature of current digital governance systems: “third-party funded digital barter”: consumers of digital services get many digital services for free (or under-priced) and in return have personal information about themselves collected for free. In addition, the digital consumers receive advertising and other forms of influence from the third parties that fund the digital services. The interests of the third-party funders are not well-aligned with the interests of the digital consumers. This fundamental flaw of current digital governance systems is responsible for an array of serious problems, including inequities, inefficiencies, manipulation of digital consumers, as well as dangers to social cohesion and democracy. We present four policy guidelines that aim to correct this flaw by shifting control of personal data from the data aggregators and their third-party funders to the digital consumers.

Working Paper No. 26: Recoupling Economic and Social Prosperity
by Katharina Lima de Miranda, and Dennis J. Snower

This paper explores a new theoretical and empirical approach to the assessment of human well-being, relevant to current challenges of social fragmentation in the presence of globalization and technological advance. We present two indexes of well-being—solidarity (S) and agency (A)—to be considered alongside the standard indexes of ma-terial gain (G) and environmental sustainability (E). The four indexes—SAGE—form a balanced dashboard for evaluating well-being. The solidarity index covers the needs of humans as social creatures, living in societies that generate a sense of social belonging.

New Blogs: Insights & Disruptive Thinking Wanted

We invite you to read the blogs here and leave a comment.

We offer a platform to different voices interested in macroeconomics. We welcome and encourage blog posts around the challenge of rebuilding macroeconomics. You can find our current blogs here.

Our mailing address is:

Rebuilding Macroeconomics, NIESR

2 Dean Trench Street

Smith Square

London, SW1P 3HE

United Kingdom

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