Author Archives: David Comerford

About David Comerford

Post-doctoral researcher in economics

The politics & economics of Council Tax reform

The Council Tax was introduced throughout Great Britain in 1993 to replace the Poll Tax, which had obtained a high degree of political unpopularity. The reason for the Poll Tax’s unpopularity was obvious: as a lump sum tax, it taxed … Continue reading

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Benefits of decentralisation?

The IFS has published an analysis of Scottish Government finances under so-called full fiscal autonomy, as called for in the SNP manifesto. The Scottish Labour party have highlighted the figures from this analysis as they try to claw back some … Continue reading

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Inequality in the 21st Century

For a long time in economics it was believed that issues of distribution could be considered separately from issues of economic growth. As far as welfare was concerned, the consensus was that growth was of first order importance and the … Continue reading

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The distribution of wealth

At Scottish Fiscal and Economic Studies, we have, and are continuing to develop, a microsimulation model of UK and Scottish households which we can use for distributional analysis. For example we can say what a particular change in fiscal policy … Continue reading

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Submission to Smith Commission, 2

Many people have interpreted Gordon Brown’s comments prior to the referendum, as well as the so called “Vow” made in the Daily Record, as some commitment so “Devo Max”. My submission to The Smith Commission on further devolution for Scotland … Continue reading

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Eyes on Thursday night’s results

Normally when watching election results come in, there are a few well known “bell-weather” results from which the overall result can be gauged. For the Independence Referendum though, what do we look for as the early results are announced (council by … Continue reading

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A conversation, between economists, on the economics of independence

Surely there are solid arguments for negative effects from being a small country relative to being a large country? Economies of scale, the existence of border effects, liquidity premia, and so on? Yes. Economic theory has proposed many plausible mechanisms … Continue reading

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Poll panic

As the polls tighten, there is some market reaction. The BBC reports that “The value of the pound has fallen … by about 1.3% against the US dollar to a 10-month low of $1.61. Shares in some firms with Scottish links … Continue reading

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The Carbon Bubble & North Sea Oil

In March this year, the Left Foot Forward blog claimed that “The fall-out from the carbon bubble bursting could devastate Scotland”. The issue has also been mentioned by Partick Harvie MSP of the Scottish Greens, and raised in a SPICe … Continue reading

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Creating a border effect

My blog on The border effect and Scottish independence(*) was published last week at the LSE Politics site. The exercise that this post was based on, is the comparison of the apparent border frictions between Scotland and the rest of the … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Trade