Ronald Ross MACKAY, economist in the field of Regional Economics; Manpower, Labour, Population; General Economics; Theory.
MACKAY, Ronald Ross was born in 1940 in Delhi, India.
Master of Arts University Aberdeen, 1963.
Lector Economics, University Newcastle, 1965-1979. Consultant, United Nations Development Programme Regional Plan Suez Canal Zone, 1983. Special Adviser, Select Committee Welsh Affairs, 1984.
Adviser, Economics and Social Affairs Committee, European Economie Community, 1984. Senior Lector, University College
N. Wales, Bangor, Wales, since 1979. Editorial Board, Regional Studies.
The early articles concentrate on the identification of a regional policy impact in the United Kingdom. The underlying theme is that the essential concern of economics with imprecise and uncertain quantification has to be explicitly acknowledged. The measurement procedure has to compensate for the imperfections of the data and for the inability of any one set of statistics to measure what we seek to identify.
A useful practical rule is to compare and contrast the returns from different types of measure. Not only does this procedure provide consistency checks, but by identifying different forms of response it provides insight into the nature of the response to regional policy. The approach also illustrates the time-lags involved.
The later articles contrast the Keynesian and the monetarist approach to structural intervention. Given the Keynesian approach the return to regional policy depends on the underlying level of demand. Regional policy, employment counselling, retraining are ineffective when unemployment is high and general.
In the monetarist approach there is a natural tendency to full employment, and the ‘natural’ level can be
reduced by structural measures which reduce mismatch and improve efficiency in the labour market. At the heart of the conflict are two different views of the market process. In the monetarist approach, price contains all the important information and contracting and recontracting are essentially straightforward.
Given the Keynesian approach, an exaggeration of the power and reach of the market withdraws the background conditions on which an effective mixed economy depends.