Economy

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Voter attitudes to risk and independence referendum choices

People who are more willing to take risks are more likely to vote ‘Yes’ in Scotland’s referendum, according to researchers at the University of Stirling.

Professors David Bell and Liam Delaney, and researcher Michael McGoldrick from the University of Stirling’s Management School, looked at individual traits and constitutional change in Scotland.

The ‘border effect’ is the observation that trade is higher within countries than between countries. If in the long run, the border between an independent Scotland and the rest of UK border affects trade like the current border between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, then we estimate costs at 5.5% of Scotland's GDP. However, Scotland could more than counteract that adverse effect if it achieves a level of trade with the rest of the world typical of the small countries of North West Europe.

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Academics were asked to evaluate the case for Union and share their thoughts on what might unfold if Scotland votes NO. With this in mind, Jo Armstrong writes on the economic situation of post-referendum Scotland within the Union.

Scotland’s growth prospects in the next two years appear relatively buoyant, with the Fraser of Allander forecasting 2.3% for 2014 and 2015, almost double that in 2013. Employment is growing, unemployment continues to fall and, with this continued economic growth, employment levels are forecast to keep rising and unemployment fall.

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Scotland analysis: Work and pensions paper


This paper examines what Scottish independence would mean for social security – including state, private and public sector pensions – and supporting people into work. It sets out the current UK-wide arrangements and how they provide targeted and effective support to pensioners, jobseekers, employers and those needing support from the social security system. It highlights:

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Latest blogs

  • 19th February 2019

    Over the course of the UK’s preparations for withdrawing from the EU, the issue of the UK’s own internal market has emerged as an issue of concern, and one that has the potentially significant consequences for devolution. Dr Jo Hunt of Cardiff University examines the implications.

  • 12th February 2019

    CCC Fellow Professor Daniel Wincott of Cardiff University examines how Brexit processes have already reshaped territorial politics in the UK and changed its territorial constitution.

  • 7th February 2019

    The future of agriculture policy across the United Kingdom after Brexit is uncertain and risky, according to a new paper by Professor Michael Keating of the Centre on Constitutional Change. Reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy over recent years have shifted the emphasis from farming to the broader concept of rural policy. As member states have gained more discretion in applying policy, the nations of the UK have also diverged, according to local conditions and preferences.

  • 4th February 2019

    In our latest report for the "Repatriation of Competences: Implications for Devolution" project, Professor Nicola McEwen and Dr Alexandra Remond examine how, in the longer term, Brexit poses significant risks for the climate and energy ambitions of the devolved nations. These include the loss of European Structural and Investment Funds targeted at climate and low carbon energy policies, from which the devolved territories have benefited disproportionately. European Investment Bank loan funding, which has financed high risk renewables projects, especially in Scotland, may also no longer be as accessible, while future access to research and innovation funding remains uncertain. The removal of the EU policy framework, which has incentivised the low carbon ambitions of the devolved nations may also result in lost opportunities.

  • 1st February 2019

    The outcome of the various Commons votes this week left certain only that the Government would either secure an amended deal and put it to a meaningful vote on Wednesday 13 February, or in the overwhelmingly likely absence of this make a further statement that day and table another amendable motion for the following day, the Groundhog Day that may lead to a ‘St Valentine’s Day Massacre’ for one side or the other. Richard Parry assesses the further two-week pause in parliamentary action on Brexit

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