Sixth Annual Clash of the Titans
Oxford vs. Cambridge vs. LSE
Economic Predictions for 2017

Supported by PwC


The Economic Research Council was delighted to host its sixth annual Clash of the Titans economic forecasting event, which was held on Wednesday 30th November at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and once again kindly supported by PwC.

The annual Clash of the Titans events feature academics and notable alumni from the top three economics departments in the country (Oxford, Cambridge, and LSE) giving their forecasts for what will happen to the UK economy in 2017 in the aftermath of Brexit.  Representing Oxford, was Paul Ormerod, for Cambridge Dr Graham Gudgin and LSE's predictions were placed by Vicky Pryce.

We shall track their performance over the course of the following year, and we'll announce the winner at next year's Clash.  You can see the performance of last year's Titans, as well as members of the general public, by clicking here, and there is a list of all the previous winners here.

This year's event was once again by chaired by Andrew Sentance, Senior Economic Adviser to PwC and former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, and was another lively, entertaining and informative evening.

Representing Oxford, Paul Ormerod

Paul is a partner of Volterra Partners and a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Decision Making at University College London (UCL). He has written 4 bestselling books, Death of Economics, Butterfly Economics, Why Most Things Fail and Positive Linking. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences in 2006, and has been awarded an honorary DSc by Durham University for ‘the distinction of your contribution to economics’. After reading economics at Cambridge and taking the MPhil in economics at Oxford, Paul started his career as a macroeconomic forecaster at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).  He was a founder of the Henley Centre for Forecasting in the 1980s, which the founders sold to Martin Sorrel’s WPP Group in the 1990s.

This event is a trip down memory lane for him.  Paul has a number of academic publications querying the inherent feasibility of accurate short-term macroeconomic forecasting, including a paper in Physica A, the world’s leading statistical physics journal, on “Random matrix theory and the failures of macroeconomic forecasting”.

Representing Cambridge, Dr Graham Gudgin

Dr Graham Gudgin is currently Research Associate at the Centre For Business Research at the University of Cambridge and part-time Senior Economic Advisor with Oxford Economics. He is working on a new Keynesian model of the UK economy with colleagues in Cambridge and elsewhere. He was seconded as Special Adviser to the Northern Ireland First Minister on economic policy from November 1998 -2002. Prior to this, he was the Director of the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, the office of which he held since the Centre was established in 1985.

Before coming to Northern Ireland he was a Senior Research Officer in the Department of Applied Economics, University of Cambridge and Economics Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He has also been advisor to the House of Commons NI Affairs Committee, a member of the Labour Party Commission on the Future of Regional Policy in England, a member of the CBI Corporate affairs Committee in Northern Ireland and a member of the Executive Committee of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin. He was a member of the NIERC Board from 2002-04, and until 2005, a member of the Board of the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ERINI).

Representing LSE, Vicky Pryce

Vicky Pryce is on the board of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). Vicky was previously Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills(BIS) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service. Before that she was Partner at the accounting and consulting firm KPMG and at London Economics after senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector. She holds a number of academic posts and is a Fellow of the UK Academy for Social Sciences and of the Society of Business Economists. She also sits on the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, on the cross-party/cross-House Design Commission, on the Advisory Board of the central banking think-tank OMFIF and on the Economic Advisory Group of the British Chambers of Commerce and is also a Patron at the charities Pro-Bono Economics and Working Chance. She was instrumental in the setting up and was previously chair of GoodCorporation, a company set up to advise on corporate social responsibility. She is a Freeman and Liveryman of the City of London. Her books include; 'Restarting Britain' Design Education and Growth report (co-author), Design Commission(2012) ; 'Greekonomics: The Euro crisis and Why Politicians Don't Get It', Biteback Publishing(2013); ‘Prisonomics’, Biteback (2013)'It's the Economy, Stupid- Economics for Voters’, with Ross and Urwin, Biteback (2015);  'Redesigning Manufacturing', with Nielsen and Beverland, Macmillan(2015)” and ‘Why Women Need Quotas’ with Stefan Stern, Biteback(2015).


Hear Larry Elliott, Economics Editor of The Guardian, discuss Brexit

Hear Dan Atkinson, Editor of This is Money, discuss Brexit