UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Dr Joshua Ryan-Collins

Dr Joshua Ryan-Collins

Senior Research Fellow in Economics and Finance

Inst for Innovation and Public Purpose

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
2nd Oct 2017

Research summary

Josh’s research takes a cross-disciplinary approach, combining macroeconomics, economic history, sociology (his undergraduate training) and political economy. He uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and draws on institutional, post-keynesian and evolutionary economics traditions.

He has a particular interest in credit and land, two concepts that have been badly neglected in conventional economics but which, because of their unique properties, play a vital role in shaping the trajectory of capitalist economies.  One important strand of his research examines how central banks and financial regulation can better support wider policy objectives, including the transition to a more sustainable and equitable economy, via directing credit and via closer coordination between monetary, fiscal and industrial policy frameworks.

A related research stream focusses on rethinking the concept of ‘economic rent' and the development of policies to reduce its occurrence.  This applies to land and finance but also to other fields including big tech ‘platform’ companies and innovation more generally.

Josh also contributes to IIPP’s research around rethinking public value and the evaluation of public policy beyond conventional economic approaches. His more applied policy work has included reports on ‘public wealth funds’, the macroeconomic implications of innovation spend, alternatives to ‘quantitative easing’ and financial system resilience.

Teaching summary

Josh is the co-convenor (with Antonio Andreoni) of IIPP's political economy module 'Rethinking Capitalism' (BAC0037) offered at both undergarduate and post-graudate level (Level 6 & 7). 

Josh also lectures on macroeconomics and finance on IIPP's MPA and supervises a number of Masters and PhD students.


Josh is an economist with a research focus on money and banking, housing and land and sustainable finance.

His co-authored book Where Does Money Come From? (2011, New Economics Foundation) was the first comprehensive guide to the workings of a modern capitalist monetary system (the UK). The book helped establish the role of commercial banks in the money creation process and is used as a textbook to teach banking in the UK and US.

Josh’s work on the interaction between the financial sector and housing markets - featured in his book, Why Can't you Afford a Home (Polity 2018) - has received international press coverage and led to invitations to provide guest lectures and advisory work from governments, public agencies, academics and civil society groups across the world. His co-authored book 'Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing' (2017, Zed books) was included in the Financial Times’ top 12 economics books of 2017. He also held a visiting scholarship at the University of Sydney examining the Australian housing market.

Josh's other main field of interest is in the role of central banks and financial supervisors in supporting environmental sustainability goals. He has given evidence to the European Parliament and central banks on these topics alongside a series of papers promoting the idea of 'precautionary policy' framework to legitimize a more interventionist forms of regulation. His work in this area has featured in journals include Ecological Economics and Nature Climate Change.

Josh was previously Senior Economist and Head of the Finance program with the New Economics Foundation (NEF), one of the UK’s leading progressive think tanks. He was also a founding member of the Brixton Pound local currency and is a council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. He has a Ph.D. in finance and economics from the University of Southampton Business School.