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Stephen Nickell

File:Stephen Nickell.jpg
Stephen Nickell, 1983

Stephen John Nickell CBE (b. 25 April 1944) is a British economist and former Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford, noted for his work in labour economics with Richard Layard and Richard Jackman. Nickell and Layard hypothesised the tendency for reduced unemployment to lead to inflation resulted from its effect on competitive bargaining in the labour market[1]

Nickell was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood and Pembroke College, Cambridge.

From 1965 until 1968 he was a mathematics teacher at Hendon County School.

He was a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics, where he took the degree of Master of Science and was awarded the Ely Devons Prize. He worked at the London School of Economics from 1970 until 1984, and again from 1998 until 2006, initially as Lecturer (1970–77), Reader (1977–79), and Professor of Economics (1979–84).

From 1984 until 1998 he was Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, Professor of Economics in the University of Oxford, and Director of the University of Oxford Institute of Economics and Statistics.

From 1998 until 2006 he returned to the London School of Economics as School Professor of Economics.

He was a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from June 2000 to May 2006, when he was replaced by David Blanchflower effective in the June 2006 meeting.[2] In his final six meetings on the MPC, Nickell was the only member in favour of a decrease in the repo rate by 25 basis points; all the other members voted to maintain the repo rate at 4.5%[3][4][5][6][7] with the exception of David Walton who supported an increase by 25 basis points in Nickell's final meeting.[8]

In 2004 he became a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

According to the British Academy Keynes Lecture, delivered in September 2005, he argued "In what follows we shall, among other things, argue that there has not been a spending boom, the non-spending boom was not credit-fuelled and there has probably not been a house price bubble."

He took up the post as Warden of Nuffield College, Oxford in 2006, and was the first chair of the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit from June 2007 until November 2009.[9]

In June 2007, when interviewed on the state of the UK housing market he was quoted as saying, "It might settle back a little, or remain relatively flat for a bit, but I don't think there's any fundamental overvaluation. Over the next few years it might keep on edging upwards." In a February 2008 Bloomberg interview, he said: 'The actual size of the downturn is minute, how big is it going to be? I don't know, but it won't be very big.'[10] The Bank of England estimated that by Q1 2009, due to declining house prices, 7% of owner-occupied mortgagors were in negative equity, equivalent to around 700,000 households.[citation needed]

HM The Queen appointed him Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours List 2007 for services to economics.

He is a Fellow of the British Academy (elected 1993), a Fellow of the Econometric Society (1980), a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Economic Association (1997), and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006). He is a past President of the Royal Economic Society.

In July 2008 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the University of Warwick.


A list of publications from 1999 until 2004 is available here: Professor Stephen Nickell, London School of Economics.


  1. ^ "Policonomics". Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Blanchflower to replace Bank's Nickell. Reuters. 22 March 2006.
  3. ^ Minutes December 2005
  4. ^ Minutes January 2006
  5. ^ Minutes February 2006
  6. ^ Minutes March 2006
  7. ^ Minutes April 2006
  8. ^ Minutes May 2006
  9. ^ "Appointment at National Housing and Planning Advice Unit". 23 November 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Swint, Brian. "U.K. Housing Market Slump `Won't Be Very Big,' Nickell Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 

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