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St Catharine's Political Economy Seminar Series


Date: Wednesday 30 May 2018 
Time: 18:00 -19:30
Speaker: Sophie Heald, Richard Lewney and Laurie Heykoop  
Talk Title: 'Modelling the Impacts of Brexit on Low-Income Households'
LocationRamsden Room, St Catharine's College

Sophie Heald
is a project manager and economist in the macroeconomic modelling team at Cambridge Econometrics. She specialises in the application of large-scale econometric models for scenario analysis and has several years’ experience modelling policy scenarios using E3ME, an econometric model of the global economy. In recent months Sophie has contributed to the European Commission’s impact assessment on the macroeconomic effects of measures to improve work-life balance and, for the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), she managed a project to assess the wider macroeconomic effects of measures to improve gender equality. Sophie led on the economic modelling and contributed to the scenario design for this study into the impacts of Brexit on low-income households.

Richard Lewney is Chairman of Cambridge Econometrics where he has worked since 1988. He specialises in the application of economic modelling to policy analysis, policy evaluation and forecasting, and he directed the study on which this seminar draws. He recently completed a two-year project for DG Energy to improve the treatment of innovation and finance in the macroeconomic modelling of decarbonisation policies. He led the macroeconomic modelling for DG Employment’s study on the feasibility of a pan-European unemployment benefit system. He is currently directing a project to extend and upgrade the economic modelling capability of Malta’s Ministry for Finance. He was the lead economist for the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review. He is a Trustee of the Cambridge Trust for New Thinking in Economics which owns Cambridge Econometrics.

Laurie Heykoop is an economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. His current areas of research include analysis of potential impacts of Brexit on low-income households, and monitoring the impact of inflation on the living standards of low-income households. Having graduated BA Economics and Politics at Manchester University in 2012, prior to his current post Laurie spent over three years as a government economist.
His work included producing official gas price projections, advising on options to reform agri-environment schemes, and producing models to enhance targeting of fuel poverty programmes. His other research interests include the economics of land, housing, and inequality.

Talk Overview 
Several organisations across government, academia, and think tanks have modelled the potential economic impacts of post-Brexit trading arrangements. These have primarily focussed on economy-wide impacts.  The research presented in this seminar focuses on analysis of impacts on low-income households. The research models a range of potential post-Brexit trading arrangements, producing estimates for impacts on prices, wages, and employment and then assesses the particular implications for low-income households.

Please contact the seminar organisers Philip Arestis ( and Michael Kitson ( in the event of a query.


Wednesday, 30 May, 2018 - 18:00 to 19:30