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David Spencer
I am employed as an economist and write on work and labour issues.
I am employed as an economist and write on work and labour issues.

David's posts

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A crisis in economics? If only it were true
The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, recently criticised his very own profession . This led to a bout of soul searching for economists as we face, again, the familiar criticism that nobody predicted the 2008 financial crisis (in fact, some e...

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Sleep deprivation costs the economy billions – and sends workers to an early grave
The British economy loses £40 billion a year due to sleep deprivation , according to a new study . Beyond the loss of economic output, sleep-deprived Britons are shortening their lives. The study shows that people who sleep less than six hours a night have ...

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Philip Hammond plays the pragmatist but lacks the vision to deliver as chancellor
Pragmatism was a key watchword of Philip Hammond’s first
conference speech as chancellor. He reiterated his intention to abandon
the strict fiscal rules of his predecessor. He also announced new
spending on housing and other infrastructure. Yet, despite ...

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The challenges ahead for Britain’s new chancellor, Philip Hammond
Philip Hammond, the UK’s new chancellor of the exchequer, has a
lot on his plate. He faces a slowing economy urgently in need of
stimulus. He confronts tough choices over public spending and will be
under pressure to reverse the austerity policies of his...

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Brexit bleakness
The repercussions of Brexit will be seismic – turmoil, followed by uncertainty. Things are never going to be the same again. In the short term, a sliding pound will add to inflationary pressures, pushing down real wages. Any boost to exports from a lower-va...

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Why Brexit should not blind us to the errors of current macroeconomic policy
The Institute
for Fiscal Studies is the latest body to highlight the costs of Britain
leaving the European Union (EU). It has warned that austerity measures would be
prolonged by two years in the event of Brexit. The independence of the IFS adds credibility...

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The two big failures of George Osborne’s budget
After a rollercoaster week for Britain’s chancellor, his eighth budget has been approved . George Osborne will be breathing a sigh of relief. After proudly announcing his budget on March 16, things began to unravel just 48 hours later, thanks in part to the...

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Budget reflections: bad economic policies underpinned by bad economics
A week is a long time in politics. Last Wednesday, George
Osborne was proudly announcing his Budget. By Friday – just forty-eight hours
later – his Budget was unravelling, thanks in part to the shock resignation of
Iain Duncan Smith. Less than a week later,...

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How strengthening the bargaining power of workers could boost UK productivity
The UK’s employment rate is at a record high. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment in the
UK fell by 60,000 between October and December 2015, with the highest
number of people in work since records began in 19...

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The pathology of presenteeism
Feeling ill? Well, staying at home would seem to be the sensible course of action. Yet for many, going to work while sick has become the norm, even a necessity in the face of the pressures placed on us by the organisations which employ us. In many cases, il...
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