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The (Structural) Gravity of Epidemics, May 2020 (joint with A. Cuņat).

Inspired by the "Imperial College Study", Alejandro Cuņat and I wrote a short paper on how to use modelling tricks from international economics to analyse the role of geography in disease transmission, and to simulate the impact of regional quarantines.

The paper appeared in Issue 17 of Covid Economics. We presented it at a workshop on the "Economics of Covid-19" I organised for MacCaLM; and in the ITI "Covid Lightning Round" of the 2020 NBER Summer Institute.

I also contributed two short, non-technical pieces to the ESRC's Economics Observatory - which answers questions about the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

The first of these pieces explains what happens to trade in a global downturn. The second piece examines the consequences if international trade and mobility are permanently reduced.


UK Regional Productivity Differences: An Evidence Review, February 2020, Industrial Strategy Council, London (joint with B. Jones).

From May until October 2019, I was on an ESRC-funded part-time secondment to the UK Industrial Strategy Council. During that time I worked as lead author on a report about UK regional productivity disparities. The report takes stock of what we know about productivity differences across UK regions, identifies evidence gaps, and draws some policy lessons.

The report was published on 4 February 2020, and its launch was covered by a number of media outlets. (Financial Times; The Times; The Guardian; The Telegraph; Reuters; Bloomberg)

A short summary of the main findings of the report is available on the Industrial Strategy Council blog.


Wealth of the Nation: Scotland's Productivity Challenge, September 2018, David Hume Institute, Edinburgh (joint with J.-F. Kelly and M. Mitchell).

Together with Edinburgh Economics PhD student Mark Mitchell, I carried out some commissioned research for the David Hume Institute, an independent think tank based in Edinburgh. Under the title "Transforming Productivity in Scotland: Lessons from Elsewhere," the research sought to place Scotland's productivity performance in an international context. It used some insights from my work on open-economy development accounting with Alejandro Cuņat.

The report received a lot of media coverage.

A technical appendix to the report is available here. A non-technical summary of the main economic findings of the report is available on the Fraser of Allander Institute blog.


Watch Out for Winners and Losers: Odds-Implied Brexit Sentiment and FTSE Returns, June 2016 (joint with C. Milas and T. Worrall).

Together with my colleague Tim Worrall, and Costas Milas (Liverpool University), I wrote a research note which analyses the effect of changes in the perceived likelihood of a British exit from the European Union on the returns of FTSE companies.

LSE Politics & Policy Blog (non-technical); Media coverage: Bloomberg, The Times.

To measure Brexit sentiment, we used the Brexit probabilities implied in the betting odds of UK bookmakers. Starting with the formal anouncement of the referendum date after the EU Council summit on 19 February 2016, we automatically retrieved odds once per day - at noon - for all bookmakers listed on the website Oddschecker.com (with kind permission).

(Figure up to date as of noon, 23 June 2016.)


I was part of an informal discussion group on the economic implications of Scottish independence at the Edinburgh School of Economics. Members of this group made occasional contributions to the University of Edinburgh's Referendum Blog, like this piece by my former colleague David Comerford on the economics of a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK ("Sterling zone"), or like my post on the theory of optimum currency areas.

We also organised a workshop on "Country Size and Border Effects in a Globalised World" in Edinburgh on 26-27 June 2014: Programme.

You can view the two keynote talks by James Anderson (Boston College) and Enrico Spolaore (Tufts University) on Vimeo.


Banks' Liquidity Buffers and the Role of Liquidity Regulation, Journal of Financial Services Research, vol. 48(3), pp. 215-234, December 2015 (joint with C. Bonner and I. van Lelyveld).

During an internship at the Bank of England, I started a project with Iman van Lelyveld on the impact of regulation on banks' liquidity risk management. Using balance sheet data for nearly 7,000 banks from 30 OECD countries over a ten-year period, we test whether the presence of liquidity regulation substitutes or complements banks' incentives to hold liquid assets. The first draft of this paper dates back to 2009, but an updated version was accepted in the working paper series of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) in September 2013, and is now published in the Journal of Financial Services Research.

VoxEU article (non-technical)


Fiscal Rules - Anchoring Expectations for Sustainable Public Finances, IMF Board Paper,
Fiscal Affairs Department, December 2009.

As an intern at the IMF in the summer of 2009, I contributed to research by the Fiscal Affairs Department on the effectiveness of fiscal rules. My role was to analyse the impact of different features of fiscal rules on the market-perceived credibility of OECD governments' fiscal policy stance.

Presentation slides