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Anthony Patrick Leslie MINFORD

Anthony Patrick Leslie MINFORD, economist in the field of Economic Forecasting and Econometric Models; Balance of Payments: Mechanisms of Adjustment, Exchange Rates; Labour Market Studies, Wages, Employment. Hallsworth Research Fellow, University Manchester, 1974-1975.

Background

  • MINFORD, Anthony Patrick Leslie was born in 1943 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England.

  • Education

    • Bachelor of Arts University Oxford 1964. Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy University London, 1970, 1973.

    Career

    • Economics Assistant, United Kingdom Ministry Overseas Development, 1965-1967. Economics Adviser, Malawi Ministry Finance, 1967-1969. Assistant Economics Matters to Finance Director, Courtaulds Company, 1970-1971.

      Economics Adviser, Balance of Payments Division, United Kingdom Treasury, 1971-1973. United Kingdom Treasury Delegation, British Embassy, Washington, District of Columbia, 4. Edward Gonner Professor Applied.

      Economics, University Liverpool, Liverpool, England, since 1975. Editorial Board, J. International Money and Finance. Academic Council, J. Economics Affairs.

      Editor, National Institute of Economie and Social Research, London, United Kingdom Economics Review, 1975-1976.

    Major achievements

    • Hallsworth Research Fellow, University Manchester, 1974-1975.

    Views

    My work has usually been stimulated by having to give economic advice. The main problems with which I first had to deal concerned the floating exchange rate and the balance of payments. My first book contains my efforts at modelling the United Kingdom floating exchange rate in the early 1970s for the Treasury model.

    In doing this I became convinced that expectations must be modelled as rational, and that this in turn required a complete macroeconomic model for the United Kingdom. My work with large-scale models at the Treasury and National Institute of Economie and Social Research, London, United Kingdom made me realise that their complexity and size concealed serious theoretical gaps and gave no advantages in forecasting per- formance. I resolved to build a new model based on a few key hypotheses (rational expectations, market-clearing, and intertemporal optimisation) and with the minimum of complexity necessary for accurate forecasting.

    A prototype of this model (the ‘Liverpool Model’ of the United Kingdom) was first used in forecasting in March 1980, and regular forecasts have been published since then, partly in order to establish a track record for evaluation of this ‘new classical’ approach in practice. I have also been building similar models for other major Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and have linked these in a world model. I am starting to use these models in a similar way.

    The inexorable rise in unemployment has however led me to supplement these models with work on the ‘natural rate’. I have modelled United Kingdom (and some other countries’) equilibrium unemployment as the result of government intervention in the labour market, notably in setting unemployment benefit and tax rates as well as protecting or encouraging union power. In all this work, the policy implications have also been my major interest, and I have written extensive topical commentary as well as a number of theoretical articles on these implications.

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