Author Archives: David Bell

About David Bell

David Bell FRSE is Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling. He graduated in economics and statistics at the University of Aberdeen and in econometrics at the London School of Economics. He has worked at the Universities of St Andrews, Strathclyde, Warwick and Glasgow. His research is mainly in labour economics, fiscal decentralization and the economics of long-term care. He has been budget adviser to the Scottish Parliament Finance Committee. He is PI for the Healthy AGing In Scotland project (HAGIS).

Area-based policies and devolved government

This blog links to a paper, “Area-based policies and devolved governments”which discusses possible post-Brexit futures for policies that, under current EU rules, are linked to specific locations within the UK and are largely administered by the devolved governments.

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More on the Bookies Odds of BREXIT

My estimates of the implied probability of a “leave” outcome in the EU referendum using the bookies odds from Oddschecker.com have attracted much comment. Some critics seem to have a weak understanding of the nature of prediction markets. For example, … Continue reading

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Who will be affected by Scotland’s new welfare powers?

As a result of the Scotland Act 2016, the Scottish Government will take over a range of disability benefits and the regulated social fund. Together these benefits cost around £2.5 billion in 2013-14. Total spending on benefits, tax credits and … Continue reading

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The higher rate threshold: to increase or not to increase?

In last week’s budget, the Chancellor announced his intention to increase the personal allowance for income tax from £11,000 in 2016-17 to £11,500 in 2017-18. He also intends to increase the higher rate threshold from £43,000 in 2016-17 to £45,000 … Continue reading

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Prospects for Growth in Scottish GDP

The latest GDP figures were released today. They show the Scottish economy grew by 0.1% in 2015 Q3. This is a fairly weak performance. The UK economy as a whole grew by 0.4% in the same quarter; it grew by … Continue reading

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Scotland’s Labour Market Lags Behind the UK’s

It is relatively easy to slip into the belief that the Scottish labour market has performed as well as the rest of the UK since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008. Scotland’s unemployment rate, like that in the … Continue reading

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Scotland’s Labour Market Lags Behind the UK’s

It is relatively easy to slip into the belief that the Scottish labour market has performed as well as the rest of the UK since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008. Scotland’s unemployment rate, like that in the … Continue reading

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Keynote presentation at Understanding Society conference, University of Essex

David Bell gave one of keynote presentations at the Understanding Society biannual conference at the University of Essex. His title was “Scotland’s Changing Fiscal Framework through the Prism of Understanding Society”. Click here to access his slides.

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The LBTT Revision

On 18th January 2015, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, announced that he is revising the residential tax element of the land and building transaction tax (LBTT). Mr Swinney had  announced the rates for LBBT in his draft budget … Continue reading

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How should the Barnett Formula be adjusted to reflect devolved taxes? A question of allocating risk (wonkish)

David Bell and David Eiser The UK parties have committed to retaining the Barnett Formula to allocate grant to Scotland. The way in which the Barnett Formula is adjusted to reflect devolved taxes will have important implications for the budgetary … Continue reading

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