UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Josh Ryan-Collins

Josh is Head of Finance and Macroeconomics and Senior Research Fellow at IIPP and an economist with interests in finance and banking, land and housing, economic rent and climate change.

Josh Ryan-Collins
Josh is the author of three books, two co-authored: Where Does Money Come From? (2011, New Economics Foundation), a guide to the working sof the UK monetary system, which is used as a textbook to teach banking in the UK and US; Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing (2017, Zed books), which was included in the Financial Times’ top 12 economics books of 2017; and Why Can’t you Afford a Home (2018, Polity). 

His work on the interaction between the financial sector and housing markets 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 from across Europe, including the European Commission.

He has published in leading academic journals including Environment and Planning A: Economy and SpaceNature Climate Change, the British Journal of Sociology and the International Journal of Finance, Money, Institutions and Markets.

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 worked there for 11 years during which time he developed an innovative program of research on banking and land and also studied for a Ph.D. in finance and economics from the University of Southampton Business School. This examined the relationship between bank credit creation, monetary policy, and macroeconomic dynamics.  Previous to that Josh worked for four years in strategic communications in the public and private sectors. 

Currently, Josh is a Principle Investigator on three funded research projects at IIPP: a project on modern economic rent (funded by the Thirty Percy foundation); a project on the role of central banks in supporting a low carbon transition (funded by the Partners for a New Economy); and a European Union Horizon 2020 project on the ‘future of work’ - Beyond4.0) where he will focus on the business models of digital technology platforms.

Outside academia and policy work, Josh was also the founder of the Brixton Pound, which is a local currency used in south London used to support independent small businesses. 

Research Summary

Josh’s research takes a cross-disciplinary approach, combining economics, economic history, sociology (his undergraduate training) and political economy. 

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.

Recent publications

To view all publications, visit Josh Ryan-Collins' UCL profile.


Ryan-Collins, J. (2018) Why Can’t you afford a Home?, Polity Press: London

Ryan-Collins, J., Lloyd, T. and Macfarlane, L., (2017) Rethinking the economics of land and housing, Zed books: London 

Ryan-Collins, J , Greenham, T, Werner, R. and Jackson, D., (2011) Where does money come from?  A guide to the UK Monetary and Banking system, NEF: London, 2nd edition, 2012 

Peer reviewed journal papers 

Ryan-Collins, J. (2019). Breaking the housing–finance cycle: Macroeconomic policy reforms for more affordable homesEnvironment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 0308518X19862811.

Campiglio, E., Dafermos, Y., Monnin, P., Ryan-Collins, J., Schotten, G., & Tanaka, M. (2018). Climate change challenges for central banks and financial regulators. Nature Climate Change, 8(6), 462.

Ryan-Collins, J. (2017) “Breaking the taboo: a history of monetary financing in Canada, 1930–1975”, British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 68, Issue 4, Dec 2017

Ryan-Collins, J., Werner, R.A., and Castle, J. (2016) "A half-century diversion of monetary policy? An empirical horse-race to identify the UK variable most likely to deliver the desired nominal GDP growth rate." Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, vol 43, July 2016, pp158-176

Ryan-Collins, J. and Greenham, T., (2013) “Rethinking the Role of the Economy and Financial Markets”, Journal of Civil Society, 16 May.

Academic working papers

Bezemer, D., Ryan-Collins, J., van Lerven, F., & Zhang, L. (2018). Credit where it’s due: A historical, theoretical and empirical review., IIPP Working Paper, no. 2018-11, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/publications/2018/nov/credit-where-its-due 

Ryan-Collins, J., & Van Lerven, F. (2018). Bringing the helicopter to ground: a historical review of fiscal-monetary coordination to support economic growth in the 20th century, IIPP Working Paper, no. 2018-08, https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/node/887/ 

Kattel, R., Mazzucato, M., Ryan-Collins, J., Sharpe, S. (2018). The economics of change: Policy appraisal for missions, market shaping and public, IIPP Working Paper, no. 2018-06. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/wp2018-06

Bjerg, Ole and McCann, Duncan and Macfarlane, Laurie and Nielsen, Rasmus Hougaard (2017) ‘Seigniorage in the 21st Century: A Study of the Profits from Money Creation in the United Kingdom and Denmark’, Copenhagen Business School Working Paper, vol. January 2017 

 'Is Monetary Financing Inflationary? A Case Study of the Canadian Economy, 1935–75', (2015) Levy Institute Working Paper, No. 84

Bernardo and Werner, R (2013) "UK QE reconsidered: the real economy effects of monetary policy in the UK, 1990-2012–an empirical analysis." Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development, Discussion Paper Series, CBFSD 1-13

Abdallah, S., Gough, I., Johnson, V, & Smith, C. (2011). The distribution of total greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK, and some implications for social policy, (No. 152). Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE, Discussion Paper 

Policy reports (selected, co-authored unless stated)

Ryan-Collins, J. (2019) Beyond voluntary disclosure: why a ‘market-shaping’approach to financial regulation is needed to meet the challenge of climate change, SUERF Policy note, Issue No 61, March 2019 

Dikau, S., & Ryan-Collins, J. (2017). Green central banking in emerging market an developing country economies., New Economics Foundation: London

(2017) Making money from making money: seigniorage in the modern economy, NEF: London (KR Foundation)

(2015) ScotPound: digital money for the common good - a new socially inclusive payment system for Scotland, NEF: London

(2015) Financial System Resilience Index, NEF: London (Friends Provident)

(2014) Financial system impact of disruptive innovation, Report to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), NEF: London

(2013) Strategic Quantitative Easing: Stimulating Investment to rebuild the economy, NEF: London (Hadley Trust)