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  • European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess – and How to Put Them Right

    Britain and the rest of Europe are in a mess. Our economies are failing to deliver higher living standards for most people – and many have lost faith in politicians’ ability to deliver a brighter future, with support for parties like UKIP soaring. Are stagnation, decline and disillusionment inevitable?

    European Spring Front cover banner
  • Aftershock: Reshaping the World Economy After the Crisis — out now

    The financial crisis brought the world to the brink of economic breakdown. But now bankers’ bonuses are back, house prices are rising again and politicians promise recovery – all this while unemployment remains high, debts mount, frictions with China grow and the planet overheats.
    Is this really sustainable – or do we need to change course?

  • Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

    Immigration divides our globalising world like no other issue. We are being swamped by bogus asylum-seekers and infiltrated by terrorists, our jobs stolen, our benefit system abused, our way of life destroyed – or so we are told. Why are ever-rising numbers of people from poor countries arriving in Europe, North America and Australasia? Can we keep them out? Should we even be trying?

    Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them

After two years of hard work, my new think-tank, Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), has finally launched today with a ground-breaking new study by me on how refugees can contribute to the economy. The report is co-published with Hamdi Ulukaya’s Tent Foundation, whose mission is to help forcibly displaced people. A key finding, based on IMF figures, is that investing one euro in welcoming refugees can boost the economy by nearly two euros within five years.

“This is a truly excellent report which should be read by anyone wishing to be informed on the subject, and particularly by policymakers,” said Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for International Migration and Development.

Please check out OPEN’s new website, , where you can download the report at and join OPEN’s mailing list. Follow OPEN on Twitter at@open2progress, join our Facebook group, and watch our fundraising video on Indiegogo’s at  All the money raised will help to pay for a campaigns, social media and events organiser to publicise this study and OPEN’s future work.

Posted 20 May 2016 in Blog, Immigration, OPEN, Refugees

Writing on “integration overstretch” in the Jakarta Post, Shofwan Al Banna Choiruzzad quotes my recent piece on EU disintegration for Project Syndicate:

The EU is feeling the symptoms of an “integration overstretch”. A rush toward deep regional integration without properly managing the real and perceived impacts of such a process created the backlash that we see today.

“To counter these forces of disintegration,” Philippe Legrain says, the EU “must do less and do it better”. The former advisor to the president of the European Commission argued that the EU’s plan for new institutions “can wait” and the priority should be on “how to raise the living standards of all”. While it is clear that ASEAN and the EU is different, I do believe that this advice also fits for ASEAN.


Posted 22 Aug 2016 in Blog, Europe

My latest column for Project Syndicate

Posted 10 Aug 2016 in Blog, Brexit, Europe, Project Syndicate

My piece for IOD Ireland

Posted 09 Jul 2016 in Blog, Brexit, IOD, Ireland

More topical than ever, my debate with Ed West for Bright Blue’s magazine, Centre Write.

Posted 01 Jul 2016 in Blog, Bright Blue, Britain, Immigration

My piece for CapX

Posted 27 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brexit, CapX

My piece for the New York Times

Posted 27 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brexit, New York Times

My On Point wrap-up piece for Project Syndicate.

Posted 27 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brexit, Project Syndicate

My piece for Svenska Dagbladet

Posted 19 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brexit, Europe, Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden

My latest for CapX.

Posted 16 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brexit, CapX

My latest column for Brussels Times is here.

Posted 08 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brussels Times, Immigration

I was interviewed about the merits of providing a basic income to all Swiss citizens, a proposal that they overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum on 6 June. Watch the clip here.

Posted 06 Jun 2016 in Al Jazeera, Blog, Welfare

In CityAM Mark Sands quoted me in a piece on the impact of migrants on housing and public services on 1 June.

Fellow economist Philippe Legrain, who supports liberal migration rules, slammed Fox’s comments. “This is more than dog whistle politics, it’s just demonising migrants for the failings of the British economy and the British public sector,” Legrain said.

“The bigger issue with the British housing market, which would exist even with much less immigration is planning restrictions which prevent us building extra housing. Generally EU migrants also pay in more than they take out so any pressure that exists on other public services is due to the failings of the public sector. In short, Liam Fox is talking rubbish.”

Read the full article here.

Posted 01 Jun 2016 in Blog, Brexit, Britain, Immigration

I was an expert witness to the House of Lords’ European Union Committee report into completing Europe’s economic and monetary union. In the final report published in May 2016, I am quoted several times.

Philippe Legrain… argued, in contrast, that this reduction in Germany’s surplus with the eurozone meant “that it is exporting its capital elsewhere, draining demand from the eurozone and exporting deflation to the rest of the eurozone.”… Philippe Legrain was disappointed that the Five Presidents’ Report did nothing to “tackle the issue of a mercantilist German core and the deflationary impact of that.”93

Other witnesses also criticised the narrow focus on competitiveness in the Five Presidents’ Report. Philippe Legrain said that competitiveness was irrelevant in responding to the eurozone’s challenges, and favoured “boosting productivity growth”. Focusing on ‘competitiveness’ meant: “you end up specialising in lower-end production rather than dynamically moving up the value chain and producing better goods for higher wages.”102

Philippe Legrain and Professor Jones drew attention to the structure of deposit insurance currently in place. Professor Jones noted that “the different types of German banks have different deposit insurance. That is the biggest part of the problem. Sparkassen and Landesbanken do not want to get implicated in a European system because they have their own preferential arrangements.”165 Philippe Legrain predicted that one could imagine a ‘carve out’ for the very politically powerful Sparkassen banks, similar to their arrangements under the Banking Union.166 Should EDIS be developed, the BBA supported it being embedded into the Banking Union framework, so that “the scope of banks mirrors closely the scope of single supervisory and resolution mechanism.”167

Philippe Legrain summarised the problem facing the eurozone: “We have election after election in the eurozone in which voters reject the outgoing Government, and the first thing that happens is that voters are told that they have to stick to the old policies of the government they have just rejected because EU rules say so, and I do not think that is desirable or sustainable.”210

Philippe Legrain considered that, in the immediate term, “there is little prospect of eurozone members caucusing together, simply because they disagree on so much.227

Philippe Legrain thought that the European Parliament would resist the creation of a new and separate parliament: “Such is the power of the European Parliament that it is inconceivable that you would create a separate structure … a eurozone parliament, if such a parliament were to emerge, would basically start off as a committee made up of members of the European Parliament from eurozone countries.”238

Posted 24 May 2016 in Blog, euro, House of Lords

I synthesise the views of Project Syndicate writers on the various aspects of the Brexit debate. Read the “On Point” here.

Posted 24 May 2016 in Blog, Brexit, Project Syndicate

Anne McElvoy interviews me and David Davis MP on The Economist Radio. Listen here

Posted 21 May 2016 in Blog, Brexit, The Economist

I spoke about Brexit at an Institute of Directors (IOD) Ireland breakfast event at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin on 19 May.

Colm Kelpie covered it for the Irish Independent here and I’m also quoted in another piece here

My remarks were also covered in the Irish Times here and in Business Plus here

My latest column for Project Syndicate

Posted 16 May 2016 in Blog, Brexit, Project Syndicate

My latest for CapX

Posted 27 Apr 2016 in Blog, Brexit

My column for Foreign Policy

Posted 26 Apr 2016 in Blog, Competition policy, Europe, Google