Economic Experts Working Group

About

The Economic Experts Working Group (EEWG) is a non-statutory body established by the National Statistician. It is a strategic, high-level advisory body offering independent advice from authoritative economic experts to the National Statistician and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the measurement of the economy and the collection and presentation of economic data for the UK.

The EEWG meets formally six times a year and consists of nine EEWG Fellows (appointed through open competition), the Group's chairperson, and senior-level ONS representation. EEWG Fellows also have a hands-on role working with ONS staff on specific issues and giving collective advice on strategic matters. The EEWG has an important role in the governance of economic research undertaken by or on behalf of the ONS, providing advice on the relevance and direction of the research for the ONS and economic statistics.

Aims

The EEWG provides independent advice on how best to ensure that official statistics on the UK economy are:

  • accurate
  • clearly presented
  • comprehensive
  • transparent
  • trustworthy
  • considerate of the needs of users and providers

Members of the EEWG have the following specific responsibilities:

Strategy

Collectively, as a working group, to advise and make recommendations to the National Statistician on the strategy and priorities for the development of economic statistics.

Providing expertise and assistance

To work individually with ONS staff to provide expertise and assistance on the main issues.

Advocacy

To act as effective advocates for the promotion of economic statistics and their development, and as a two-way conduit of views and information between the ONS and economic statistic users.

ONS Fellows

About

ONS Fellowships are designed to bring together cutting-edge research and analysis with the day-to-day production of economic statistics by the ONS. ONS Fellows use their expertise to develop innovative solutions to challenges, and support the transformation of selected priority areas within economic statistics. The roles are "hands-on" and include working collaboratively with ONS colleagues to deliver radical change where necessary. As well as working on individual projects, ONS Fellows are also members of the Economic Experts Working Group (EEWG).

Aims

Working collaboratively with ONS teams, ONS Fellows contribute to the delivery programme and assist with developing solutions to a range of areas across economic statistics, including:

  • the modern economy and national accounts
  • trade and international statistics
  • devolved, regional and local statistics
  • productivity and the supply of labour and capital
  • prices
  • beyond gross domestic product (GDP) - broader measures of welfare and activity

Current ONS fellows

Ed Palmer – Chair

Ed is the Deputy Chief Economist and head of Analysis, Microdata and Engagement at the ONS. Ed joined the ONS from the Department for Transport where he was head of Rail Analysis for seven years. Prior to this, Ed worked as a government economist at the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Department of Trade and Industry. Ed also worked in economics consulting for nine years at Coopers and Lybrand, PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. He has economics degrees from the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Mairi Spowage

Mairi Spowage is a Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow and the Deputy Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Her areas of expertise include economic policy, economic statistics, national accounting, public sector finances, and economic and fiscal forecasting. Mairi leads on the Institute’s work with various partners, including those in business, the public and third sector. She is regularly asked to give evidence on economic and fiscal matters at Parliamentary Committees, such as the Finance and Constitution Committee and the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee. Mairi is leading on various projects to improve regional economic statistics, looking at inter-regional trade and business engagement and encouraging graduates into careers in analysis through the Economic Futures programme.

Martin Weale

Professor of Economics at King’s College, London. He was, until August 2016, an External Member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the Bank of England. Before joining the MPC, he was Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Thomas Crossley

Professor of Economics at the University of Essex and Associate Director of Understanding Society, the UK's major longitudinal household survey. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) where he was previously director of the consumption and saving research sector.

Diane Coyle

Professor of Politics and International studies at Cambridge University and Co-director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. She was previously Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and is founder of the consultancy Enlightenment Economics. She was ONS Fellow for the 2016 to 2017 programme and has now been reappointed after a fair and open competition. She is a member of the Natural Capital Committee and was previously a BBC Trustee, serving as both Vice Chair and Acting Chair of the BBC Trust, a member of the Migration Advisory Committee, and of the Competition Commission.

Robert Heath

Robert previously worked as an economist at the Bank of England, HM Treasury and International Monetary Fund. His area of expertise are financial statistics, including balance of payments and international investment position, monetary statistics, and government finance statistics. In addition, Robert has expertise in official reserves and debt statistics (both external and public sector), cross-border banking and portfolio investment statistics, financial derivatives, financial soundness indicators, and datasets needed for financial stability analysis. Robert is a former Deputy Director of the IMF Statistics Department.

Paul Mizen

Paul Mizen is Professor of Monetary Economics at the University of Nottingham. He is Chairman of the UK Money, Macro and Finance Society, Research Associate of the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence and Consultant to the Bank of England.

He has held visiting research positions at the major central banks and was the inaugural 200th Anniversary Visiting Professor at the Central Bank of Austria in 2016. He is the Principal Investigator for three UKRI/ESRC projects including the Decision Maker Panel, jointly with the Bank of England and Stanford University, and the Management and Expectations Survey, jointly with ESCoE, LSE and Stanford University. These surveys collect and analyse data on economic uncertainty and expectations around major events such as Brexit and COVID-19. He was an ONS Fellow 2018 to 2020 and has been appointed for a second term.

Ana Galvao

Professor of Economic Modelling and Forecasting at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Ana joined Warwick in 2013 from the School of Economics and Finance of Queen Mary, University of London.

She was the principal investigator of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded research project on "Economic Forecasting under Macroeconomic Uncertainty" over the 2013 to 2015 period. Since April 2017, she has been working on a ONS-funded project on "Measuring and Communicating Data Uncertainty".

She is currently Associate Editor of the International Journal of Forecasting and the Economic Modelling, and is part of the team behind the Warwick Business School Forecasting System. Her teaching includes a novel postgraduate course in economics and business forecasting, with emphasis on their usefulness for decision-making under uncertainty. She was able to place her past PhD students in tenure-track jobs in academia and in policy institutions’ research positions.

Nick Oulton

Member of the Centre for Macroeconomics at the London School of Economics and a Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. He was ONS Fellow for the 2016 to 2017 programme and has now been reappointed after a fair and open competition. Previously, he worked at the Bank of England and is the author of over 50 articles in academic journals and books and is the co-author of a book on UK productivity.

Past ONS fellows

David Nguyen

David was an ONS Fellow from September 2020 to March 2021. He has now moved to OECD's Public Governance Directorate as an Economist/Policy analyst.

Joe Grice

Was Chair of the ONS Economic Experts Working Group, following on from his appointment as ONS Director and Chief Economist. Joe spent most of his career at the Treasury, lastly as Chief Economist and Director of Public Services. On moving to ONS, he fulfilled a variety of roles, including responsibility for the production of economic and social statistics, and ending as the Chief Economist.

Peter Sinclair

Appointed as an ONS Fellow in 2016, Peter sadly succumbed to Covid-19 in March 2020.

Mary O'Mahony

Was an ONS Fellow for the 2016 to 2017 programme and is currently a Professor of Applied Economics at King's College, London. She joined King’s in May 2013 and was previously Professor at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. She is currently a visiting fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London.

David Metcalf

Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics (LSE). He is Director of Labour Market Enforcement, a Director of the Starting Price Regulatory Commission and a former member of the Senior Salaries Review Body.

Jill Leyland

Former vice-president of the Royal Statistical Society. She has previously worked for, among others, the World Gold Council, the Economist Intelligence Unit and the OECD, as well as the Government Statistical Service. She is also a Fellow of the Society of Business Economists and a member of the Advisory Panel on Consumer Prices.

Giuliana Battisti

Professor of Economics of Innovation at Warwick Business School. Giuliana is a member of the Council of the Royal Statistical Society and the co-chair of the British Network of Industrial Economists. Her research has appeared in a number of leading international journals such as Research Policy, Oxford Economic Papers, British Journal of Management, Harvard Business Review, Industrial and Corporate Change.