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James Foreman-Peck

Professor James Foreman-Peck

Emeritus Professor

Cardiff Business School


I specialise in a broad range of economic policies and economic history. My work has covered problems in economic growth with particular reference to human capital and technology, entrepreneurship and SMEs, fiscal devolution and urban and regional economic policy. I have advised a wide variety of policy making bodies, including Plaid Cymru, the UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills and the Welsh Government.

I am Director of the Welsh Institute for Research in Economics and Development and a former President of the European Historical Economics Society. I was awarded my PhD at the London School of Economics.and have been Economic Adviser at H M Treasury concerned with micro-economic policy issues, particularly public service delivery and procurement.

Previous posts include Professor of Economic History at the University of Hull, Visiting Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Davis, and Fellow of St Antony's College, University of Oxford. My books include A History of the World Economy: International Economic Relations since 1850, Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820-1990 (with R Millward) and most recently, European Industrial Policy: The Twentieth Century Experience (edited with G Federico).


Primary research interests

  • Economic growth - especially the contribution of human capital and technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Fiscal devolution
  • Urban and regional economic policy

PhD supervision research interests

  • Human capital
  • Entrepreneurship
  • SMEs

James has led the following projects

The impact of school sixth form size on educational attainment of pupils at Key Stage 5, 2016 Welsh Government

Research to quantify the costs to the UK of language deficiencies as a barrier to UK engagement in exporting,

30 June 2013 to 31 January 2014
Sponsored by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

A cost benefit analysis of school consolidation:A Report To Gwynedd County Council 2011

1 March 2011 to 29 April 2011
Sponsored by Cyngor Gwynedd Council


Teaching commitments

Applied Macroeconomics and Finance BS3570,British Economy BS2547,Business History BS3548,Economics of Public Policy BST166,Issues in Public Policy BST274


In the Pandemic year 2020 on 4th March I gave evidence to the Welsh Parliament Finance Committee, based upon my recent Regional Studies paper, about the possible consequences of changing the Welsh Rate of Income Tax.

In August 2020 the completed Report for Plaid Cymru was accepted.

During September 2020  I submitted my assessment for Wales of the UK Internal Market bill to the Scottish Government  Finance and Constitution Committee:

On Christmas Eve the Journal of Population Economics published my research explaining long term economic growth in England.