Core Macroeconomics, Hilary Term 2012

Week 8: British policy regimes

There is no new theory to be covered this week. Instead, we ask you to do some in depth reading and thinking about economic policy objectives and outcomes. The readings listed below are suggestions to get the research for your essay started.


Hopkin, J. and D. Wincott, "New Labour, Economic Reform and the European Social Model", The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 2006, Vol 8, pp. 50-68.

Carlin, W. and D. Soskice, "German economic performance: disentangling the role of supply-side reforms, macroeconomic policy and coordinated economy institutions," Socio-Economic Review, vol. 7 (2009), pp. 67-99.

Lloyd, C., G. Mason and K. Mayhew (eds.). Low-Wage Work in the UK. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2008. Chapters 1 and 2.

Bean, C., and J. Symons, "Ten Years of Mrs. T", NBER Macroeconomics Annual, 1989, vol. 4.

Nickell, S., L. Nunziata, and W. Ochel, "Unemployment in the OECD since the 1960s: What Do We Know?", Economic Journal, vol. 115, no. 1 (January 2005), pp. 1-27.

Crafts, N.F.R. The Conservative government's economic record, an end of term report.London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1998.

Crafts, N.F.R., "Was the Thatcher experiment worth it? British economic growth in a European context", CEPR Discussion Paper no. 710, 1992.

Card, D. and R. Freeman, "What have two decades of British economic reform delivered?", NBER Working Paper no. 8801, 2002.

Cobham, D.The making of Monetary Policy in the UK, 1975-2000. Wiley, 2002.

Nickell, S., "The Assessment: the Economic Record of the Labour Government since 1997," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 18 no. 2 (Summer 2002).

Barrell, R., S. Kirby, R. Metz, and M. Weale, "The Labour Government's Economic Record and Economic Prospects," National Institute Economic Review, no. 192 (April 2005).

Bell, D., and D. Blanchflower, "UK Unemployment in the Great Recession," National Institute Economic Review, no. 214 (October 2010).

Elsby, M., and J. Smith, "The Great Recession in the UK Labour Market: A Transatlantic Perspective," National Institute Economic Review, no. 214 (October 2010).


Please write an essay on the following topic:

Compare the Thatcher/Major supply-side reforms and demand-managment policy with those of Blair/Brown. Which have been more successful in improving British macroeconomic performance?

Try to use the Carlin & Soskice framework in thinking about your answer. As this is a big topic for a small essay, you may consider narrowing your focus to a manageable subset of issues, for example a disproportionate emphasis on either demand management supply side policies, or perhaps a selection of certain issues that well illustrate the general thrust of policy.

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