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Jonathan Portes


Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Contact details

Room S2.11 Strand Building
Strand Campus London WC2R 2LS 

Phone: +44 (0) 7766 441148

Twitter: @jdportes

Office Hours: By appointment


Jonathan Portes started his career at HM Treasury in 1987, and spent most of his career as a civil servant, serving as Chief Economist at the Department for Work and Pensions from 2002 to 2008 and Chief Economist at the Cabinet Office from 2008 to 2011. He led the Cabinet Office’s economic analysis and economic policy work during the financial crisis and on the G20 London Summit in April 2009. In 2011 he became Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.


Economics of immigration (from 2017-18)


Jonathan is a Senior Fellow of the Economic and Social Research Council's "UK in a Changing Europe" initiative, based at King’s, which promotes high quality research into the complex and changing relationship between the UK and the European Union. His current research concentrates on issues related to immigration and labour mobility, both within the European Union and outside; and the economic implications of Brexit.  Other research interests include labour markets, fiscal policy, social security and welfare, and the use of evaluation and evidence in public policy.

Jonathan publishes articles on economic issues regularly in the UK and international press and comments frequently in the print and broadcast media.  His recent book, “Capitalism”, is published by Quercus. He has testified on numerous occasions before Parliamentary committees, in particular the Treasury Committee and the Home Affairs Committee.  

Selected publications

The economic impact of Brexit: Immigration” forthcoming in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, February 2017.

“Immigration and the UK-EU relationship”  forthcoming in “The Economics of the UK-EU Relationship: From the Treaty of Rome to the Vote for Brexit" (edited by Nauro Campos and Fabrizio Coricelli), Palgrave, February 2017.

"Free movement and immigration after Brexit", National Institute Economic Review, November 2016.

“Capitalism”, Quercus Books, November 2016.

"Immigration, free movement, and the UK referendum", National Institute Economic Review, May 2016

"Issues in the design of fiscal policy rules" (with Simon Wren-Lewis), The Manchester School, August 2015

"Labour mobility within the European Union" New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, July 2015

 “New Labour? The impact of migration from Central and Eastern European Countries on the UK Labour Market” (with Sara Lemos, University of Leicester), BE Journal of Economic Policy, February 2014.

“The Impact of free movement of workers from Central and Eastern Europe on the UK Labour Market” (with Gilpin et al.), DWP Working Paper 29, February 2006.

Migration: an economic and social analysis (with Stephen Glover et. al.). Home Office, RDS Occasional Paper No. 67, January 2001.

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