The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, which reported in 2018 with Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for the New Economy, put forward 73 bold recommendations to fundamentally reform the UK economy to achieve ‘escape velocity’ from a model that isn’t working to one that does. But one commission – even if it draws from many corners of the economy – cannot have all the answers, and continued radical thinking is required. We also know from IPPR polling that the public are extremely sceptical about the capacity of leading politicians to come up with new ideas to boost the economy. The IPPR Economics Prize set out to encourage new and creative thinking in economics to continue the conversation.
The inaugural prize has focussed on economic growth. We wanted to know not just which policies could raise the UK’s growth rate, but how growth could translate into higher pay for ordinary households and reduced inequalities across regions and generations. We also wanted to know whether such proposals could accelerate decarbonisation and ensure that the UK meets its international commitments and its responsibilities to present and future generations.
The entries we received covered a huge array of areas, from moonshot ideas to comprehensive plans. There were many creative approaches to the brief that found new perspectives through which to approach old problems. We received highly developed technical proposals as well as ideas drawing on a range of disciplines. From the initial entries, which we assessed on an entirely anonymous basis, we asked a shortlist of entrants to develop their ideas further in an essay of up to 20,000 words. This document sets out the summaries of these entries, which each take a different approach to the problem as it was defined.
You can also read the winning entries in full via the links below.
Joint first prize winners
Decentralising Britain - Romain Esteve, Martin Kábrt, Agata Makowska, Dano Meiske, Nick Robin, Farooq Sabri and Rhys Williams
Incentivising an ethical economics - Simon Szreter, Hilary Cooper and Ben Szreter
Automation and working time - Bertie Wnek
A rebalancing programme for Britain - Richard Plackett and Dr George Cooper
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