I am an independent economist. I do some work for Resolution Foundation, Fathom Consulting and other clients through expert networks. I also occasionally write for UK news outlets, including New Statesman, The Independent, The Guardian and others, and a dump of my articles can be found in the ‘media’ bit of my homepage.
Until 2017 I was a Professor of Economics at the University of Birmingham in the UK, teaching MSc international macro, after a stint as Reader in Economics at Bristol University. I was at the Bank of England for 21 years, 1992-2013 in the Bank of England on monetary policy issues.
My research and study interests span: monetary economics, macroeconomics, applied time series econometrics; computational economics, public finance, public policy, the state of economics.
This blog includes a lot of ranting about monetary policy and central banks, but it does wander onto other topics in macro and public policy in general. If you visit the you can find articles of mine from the Guardian, Spectator, Times, Independent and FT’s Alphaville.
You can find out more about what I get up to by rummaing through my homepage.
The tile of this blog, ‘long and variable’, is a reference to the comment by Milton Friedman that the lags between a change in monetary policy and its effects on inflation and real activity were long and variable. This was behind his scepticism that activist, fine-tuning macroeconomic policy was feasible. I think his scepticism proved far too pessimistic, but it’s a good lesson to keep in mind when policymakers find a new lever to pull. Somewhat shamefully, I don’t actually know if Friedman ever uttered these precise words, but there are a few quotes cited in this paper that get close.
The title should not be taken to indicate any support whatsoever for Friedman’s ultra free market and libertarian brand of politics. More simply, a blog has to be called something. It has, incidentally, been said by those close to me that many of the posts are long, and the quality is, frankly, variable.
I also tweet using the handle @t0nyyates.
All views expressed here are mine alone, and should not be taken as endorsed by or consistent with those held by either my former employers or clients.
If you would like to comment, please keep it on topic, and be civil to me and others. Comments that don’t adhere to this will get deleted. If you want to write a guest post, and you feel your views conform to my own rigid priors, get in touch and I might host it.