Webinar

Watch the Webinar: The Cost-of-Living Crisis

November 30, 2022 2005

Torsten Bell, chief executive officer of the Resolution Foundation, delivered the 2022 Campaign for Social Science Annual SAGE Lecture, on November 22. Bell’s talk, “The cost of living crisis: the short and the long view,” focused on the immediate cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom, and the background for the country experiencing it: a living standards stagnation stretching back well over a decade. He reflected on the role social science has played in recognizing, understanding, and solving these related but distinct developments.

Rising living standards, something taken for granted for generations, feel like a distant memory in the UK. Surging energy prices, the highest inflation in four decades, and falling real wages mean we are on course to end this parliament poorer than we began it in 2019. And yet living standards in the middle of the pandemic may turn out to be as good as things got. Many will go cold this winter, others will struggle with surging food prices, and almost everyone will feel squeezed. The Bank of England expects unemployment to rise.

Britain’s weak productivity growth saw workers enter the pandemic with wages no higher than they were in the financial crisis a decade before. The stagnation of the 2010s proves a toxic combination with the inequality of the 1980s, leaving low and middle-income Britain far poorer than their counterparts in other advanced economies. Recognizing this history is crucial to understanding what makes today’s struggles quite so acute. Alongside documenting these trends, Torsten offered his personal reflections on the role social science – and economics in particular – have played in helping policymakers, and the public, understand and respond to these forces shaping 21st century Britain.

Responses to Torsten’s lecture were given by Shreya Nanda from the Social Market Foundation and Arun Advani from the University of Warwick.

Torseten Bell, prior to leading the Resolution Foundation, worked in HM Treasury, as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers during the financial crisis, and as director of policy for the Labour Party. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, school governor, and trustee of the Child Poverty Action Group.

Sage, the parent of Social Science Space, is a global academic publisher of books, journals, and library resources with a growing range of technologies to enable discovery, access, and engagement. Believing that research and education are critical in shaping society, 24-year-old Sara Miller McCune founded Sage in 1965. Today, we are controlled by a group of trustees charged with maintaining our independence and mission indefinitely. 

View all posts by Sage

Related Articles

New SSRC Project Aims to Develop AI Principles for Private Sector
Industry
July 19, 2024

New SSRC Project Aims to Develop AI Principles for Private Sector

Read Now
Megan Stevenson on Why Interventions in the Criminal Justice System Don’t Work
Social Science Bites
July 1, 2024

Megan Stevenson on Why Interventions in the Criminal Justice System Don’t Work

Read Now
Why We’ve Had to Dramatically Shift How We Talk About UK Politics
Insights
June 25, 2024

Why We’ve Had to Dramatically Shift How We Talk About UK Politics

Read Now
Pandemic Nemesis: Illich reconsidered
News
June 14, 2024

Pandemic Nemesis: Illich reconsidered

Read Now
Beyond Net-Zero Targets: When Do Companies Maximize Their Potential to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Beyond Net-Zero Targets: When Do Companies Maximize Their Potential to Reduce Carbon Emissions?

Companies with a better understanding of climate change, the authors argue, have realized the need to plan actions beyond the business level.

Read Now
Rob Ford on Immigration

Rob Ford on Immigration

Opinions on immigration are not set in stone, suggests Rob Ford – but they may be set in generations. Zeroing in on the experience of the United Kingdom since the end of World War II, Ford – a political scientist at the University of Manchester – explains how this generation’s ‘other’ becomes the next generation’s ‘neighbor.’

Read Now
Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

Biden Administration Releases ‘Blueprint’ For Using Social and Behavioral Science in Policy

U.S. President Joseph Biden’s administration has laid down a marker buttressing the use of social and behavioral science in crafting policies for the federal government by releasing a 102-page Blueprint for the Use of Social and Behavioral Science to Advance Evidence-Based Policymaking.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments