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St Catharine’s Political Economy Seminar - ‘How Did the Economics Profession Get it Wrong on Brexit?’by Graham Gudgin & Ken Coutts

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Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 Time: 18:00 -19:30 Speakers: Graham Gudgin and Ken Coutts Talk Title: ‘How Did the Economics Profession Get it Wrong on Brexit?’ Location: Ramsden Room, St Catharine’s College

Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2018 Time: 18:00 -19:30 Speakers: Graham Gudgin and Ken Coutts Talk Title: Location: Ramsden Room, St Catharine’s College

The next St Catharine’s Political Economy Seminar in the series on the Economics of Austerity, will be held on 31 January, 2018 – Graham Gudgin and Ken Coutts will give a talk on “How Did the Economics Profession Get it Wrong on Brexit?”. The seminar will be held in the Ramsden Room at St Catharine’s College from 6.00-7.30 pm. All are welcome. The seminar series is supported by the Cambridge Journal of Economics and the Economics and Policy Group at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Speakers: Graham Gudgin is currently Honorary Research Associate at the Centre For Business Research (CBR) in the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. He is also Chief Economic Advisor at Policy Exchange, London, visiting Professor at the University of Ulster and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre. He was senior Economic Advisor at Oxford Economics from 2007 to 2015 and was director of the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre from 1985 to 1998 when he became Special Adviser to the First Minister in the Northern Ireland Assembly until 2002. Prior to this he was economics fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge and a member of the Cambridge Economic Policy Group under Wynne Godley. He is the author of a large number of books, reports and journal articles on regional economic growth in the UK, the growth of small firms and electoral systems. He is currently working with Ken Coutts on a macro-economic model and forecasts for the UK economy and on the economic impact of Brexit. Ken Coutts is Honorary Research Associate at the Centre For Business Research (CBR) in the Judge Business School , Emeritus Assistant Director of Studies in the Faculty of Economics, and Life Fellow in Economics, Selwyn College, at the University of Cambridge. A member of the Cambridge Economic Policy Group in his younger career, led by the late Wynne Godley, his main interests are in macroeconomics, monetary and fiscal policy, trade, capital flows and balance of payments. He has published widely in these areas. He has also written extensively on the pricing behaviour of manufacturing industries in the UK and Australia. He is currently working with Graham Gudgin a macro-economic model and forecasts for the UK economy and on the economic impact of Brexit.

Talk Overview: This contribution examines in detail the predictions of professional economic forecasters on the economic impact of Brexit. It shows how these were flawed, and speculates on why they are no longer quoted. It begins with the frequently repeated claim, that membership of the EEC /EU has been good for economic growth in the UK. This is followed by a brief reprise of our critique of the gravity model work of HMT and OECD . The approach of the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE , uses a different approach, but again, in our view, is flawed. All of this work predicts that the volume of UK trade with the EU will fall substantially after Brexit, with no offsetting gains in trade with non-EU countries. Around half of the predicted declines in GDP , come from a calculation that trade losses will have a major negative knock-on impact on productivity. Our update of their evidence suggests that for advanced economies no such link exists between trade and productivity. This is not an argument in favour of Brexit. It is instead to question the ability of the economics profession to provide high quality policy analysis on issues of national importance.

Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis (pa267@cam.ac.uk) and Michael Kitson (mk24@cam.ac.uk) in the event of a query

This talk is part of the St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series series.

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