Questions and answers about
the UK economy.

New PostJobs, work, pay & benefits

What might be the effects of a four-day working week?

A shortened working week has been proposed to improve work-life balance, raise productivity and support recovery from the pandemic. Current trials can shed light on whether a four-day week may impose costs on employers and exacerbate labour market shortages.

Festival of Economics 2022

Tickets on sale September 2022. View the programme here.

Trade & supply chains

Sanctions on Russia: what are the ramifications of this new trade war?

Following the invasion of Ukraine, Western sanctions have targeted Russia’s trade, companies, individuals and financial sector. The measures, which are far more wide-ranging than those following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, raise big legal and economic issues for the world trading system.

Lessons from history

What can we learn from the role of coal in the Industrial Revolution?

Coal played an important role in the Industrial Revolution, but the air pollution it created eventually acted as a drag on economic growth. As we seek to achieve a net-zero economy, there are important lessons from the energy and industrial transitions ushered in by coal.

Public spending, taxes & debt

Would taxes on unhealthy foods reduce obesity?

Taxing unhealthy foods like sugary drinks makes them relatively more expensive, potentially encouraging people to buy more healthy alternatives. Evidence shows that such taxes do reduce consumption and that firms reformulate their products, with beneficial effects on health.

Data Hub

Live and interactive charts and visualisations, making sense of the latest numbers

Aid & international development

How is the war in Ukraine affecting global food security?

War in the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ is having a big impact on food security across the continent and the wider world. Crop shortages and the rising prices of food, fuel and fertiliser could become a source of further conflicts.

Business, big & small

What next for the growth of women’s football?

Women’s football matches are attracting record crowds, but funding still lags far behind the men’s game. Clubs that are putting money into their women’s teams are seeing the positive effects, but biases in perceptions of quality and potential are limiting further investment.

Attitudes, media & governance

Does public trust in government matter for effective policy-making?

Whether encouraging citizens to pay taxes, get vaccinated or obey the rule of law, governments can achieve more from compliance than coercion. Given recent political scandals around the world, including those in the UK, rebuilding trust will be vital for tackling future crises.

All Answers