Making social science accessible

13 Jun 2016

The impact of Brexit on jobs, growth and public finance

Most elections turn on whether or not voters have sufficient confidence that the scoundrels they vote into government will at least run the economy well. Even if those in power display the moral or ethical shortcomings that cynical citizens have come to expect from their politicians, they will be supported if their policies avoid episodes of instability, deliver job creation and increase prosperity.

Although the EU referendum is not a routine election, there are good reasons to believe that when it comes to putting the cross on the ballot paper, the likely economic outcome will still weigh heavily on voters’ choices.

This report draws on some of the main contributions to the debate to arrive at conclusions on what can be reasonably relied upon, as opposed to being regarded as either misleading, incomplete or down-right wrong. The assessment was greatly helped by a ‘brainstorming seminar’ at which economists from different backgrounds came together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. The findings reported here also reflect discussions at a separate ‘brainstorming seminar’ on the likely effects of Brexit on regional economic development. This short overview summarises the main message from these exercises.

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