Introduction / Andrew Threadgould
2015 has been an exciting year in economics and politics alike. The UK General Election produced a surprising result in comparison with the story the opinions polls were telling throughout the campaign. Incumbent governments rarely increase their majority, let alone win enough seats to allow them to discard a coalition party. David Cameron has previously stated that he will not lead his party into the next election campaign, and the best gift he can leave for his party could be a successful negotiation through the tricky issues of union. For the next parliament at least, it is the state of both the United Kingdom and European Union which will dominate the political economy landscape. Of the four nationalist strains in UK politics, it was the Scottish movement which can claim the greatest success, if only at the expense of the SNP’s natural bedfellows, the Labour Party, in the process denying both parties any chance of power. At the time of writing, Grexit looks more possible than ever, and a far more likely occurrence than Brexit; it is hard to imagine an EU referendum in the UK triggering a British exit from the Union: the pro-Union lobby in this case will be heavily financed to say the least. Economically, the UK continues its journey from recession. It is arguably the distribution rather than level of income which is of greatest concern, with much in labour market statistics to fascinate economic thinkers. Strong trends towards self-employment can be viewed in both a positive and negative light, but it is perhaps the stories beyond Britain which will determine the fate of the UK economy in the years ahead. It is with great pleasure to report news on an OA who left 10 years ago. Alex Teytelboym was a top economist of his generation, and he recently returned to the College twice: firstly, to debate the philosophy of Wittgenstein, and later that month to present to a conference of Heads of Economics on the CORE course he has been developing to transform undergraduate Economics. This new perspective on Economics places the subject within the context of other social sciences and seeks to explore the subject ‘as if the last three decades had happened.’ This is a worthy cause, and further details are available here: http://www.core-econ.org/ The 2015 PER offers the usual variety of articles from the best of this year’s Remove economists. Some of these pieces will be submitted to national competitions; I hope you find all are worthy of your time.
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