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Ideas for the UK: election economics international week

What is the right level of migration for the UK? Is the country on track to meet its commitments on tackling climate change? And how will big changes in the world trading environment affect the economy? Our fourth election newsletter looks at some of the global issues at stake in the election.

Nations, regions & cities

Can investment in skills improve Northern Ireland's productivity performance?

Northern Ireland has the lowest productivity of any region in the UK. While there are several reasons for this poor performance, investment in skills is a key area where local policy-makers can help to boost productivity and improve the nation’s growth prospe.

Productivity & growth

Could a new policy institution help solve the UK’s productivity problem?

Comparatively sluggish productivity growth is one of the UK’s biggest policy challenges. Past strategies to solve the problem have lacked commitment and proper evaluation. One solution could be to establish a growth and productivity institution to coordinate policies over the long term.

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NATO Defence Expenditure

How have NATO members' military expenditure changed over the last nine years?

Families & households

How could the early years budget be better targeted to reduce inequality?

High-quality early education boosts children’s development, family income and national productivity. But current public spending on it in the UK is not targeted towards the most disadvantaged families. Policies to reshape early years investment could help to reduce, rather than widen, inequalities.

Nations, regions & cities

What transport policies could improve the UK’s productivity?

Towns and cities with effective transport within and between them host more productive businesses, which can pay higher wages. But with too few of such places, the UK suffers from low productivity. Making the transport investments we need locally instead of according to national plans would help.

Schools, universities & training

University degrees: how should we assess their value?

Evaluating university degrees on the basis of the job prospects they provide for graduates has led to some being seen as ‘low value’ or ‘low quality’. But, in reality, their worth is hard to measure. Closing such courses is likely to have a negative effect on social mobility.

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