Labour economics

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Edited by Aveek Bhattacharya; Neil Lee

April 22, 2024

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation provides independent analysis of the party’s proposed approach – and the gaps it needs to fill.

With the Labour Party having vowed to achieve the fastest growth in the G7, the Social Market Foundation has brought together leading economic experts to provide independent analysis of the party’s proposed approach – and the gaps it needs to fill.

Back in the 1990s, there was a clear route to achieving growth through “nurturing investment in industry, skills, infrastructure and new technologies”, and prioritising “educational and employment opportunities for all”. Labour’s challenges are greater now than in 1997, but it is less clear how they will address them.

There are a number of slogans and buzzwords floating around the Shadow Chancellor – “securonomics”, “the everyday economy”, “productivism”, “modern supply side economics” – yet these ideas remain in need of elaboration.

This essay collection draws together contributions from some of the UK’s most notable economic analysts, all writing from a politically independent standpoint as ‘critical friends’, to articulate this worldview and highlight the gaps it needs to fill. Across the 13 essays, each exploring a different area of economic policy, there are some common themes and ideas, which offer some indication of Labour’s thinking and priorities.

Contributors to the collection include: economist and life peer Baroness Alison Wolf, who was the Prime Minister’s skills adviser; Sir Tim Besley, who has served on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee; Anna Valero, LSE Policy Fellow and a member of the government’s Green Jobs Delivery Group; and Giles Wilkes, former business and No. 10 special adviser. The series is edited by SMF Interim Director Aveek Bhattacharya and Neil Lee, Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The collection is published by the Social Market Foundation. The authors retain full editorial independence, and the analysis is intended to be non-partisan.