UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Dr Joshua Ryan-Collins

Dr Joshua Ryan-Collins

Associate Professor in Economics and Finance

Inst for Innovation and Public Purpose

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
2nd Oct 2017

Research summary

Josh is an economist with a research focus on macroeconomic policy, housing and land and sustainable finance. His has a particular interest in credit and land, two concepts that have been neglected in conventional economics but which, because of their unique properties, play a vital role in shaping the trajectory of capitalist economies. 

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. Josh has also held a visiting scholarship at the University of Sydney examining the Australian housing market and published on housing-related matters in journals including Enviroment and Planning A: Economy and Space and Housing Studies.

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 field has featured in journals include Ecological Economics and Nature Climate Change.

Josh has received over £500,000 of grant funding to support his reseach from philanthropic donors including Partners 4 a New Economy, the European Climate Foundation, Climateworks, the Laudes Foundation and Sunrise.

His research takes a cross-disciplinary approach, combining macroeconomics, economic history, political economy and sociology. He uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and draws on institutional, post-keynesian and evolutionary economics traditions.

Teaching summary

Josh is the co-convenor of IIPP's political economy elective module 'Rethinking Capitalism' (BAC0037) offered to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Josh also lectures on macroeconomic policy and finance on IIPP's Masters in Public Administration and on IIPP's Executive Education programs.

He supervises a number of Masters and PhD students and is interested in taking on PhD students working in the areas of macroeconomics, sustainable finance and the economics of land and housing.


Josh has been at UCL since 2017 and has been Head of Research for IIPP and is currently Departmental Graduate Tutor (Director of the PhD program). He is a council member of the Progressive Economy Forum, a think tank of made up of eminent economists advocating for improved macroeconomic policy in the UK.  Previously Josh was a 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. 

Josh has a Ph.D. in finance and economics from the University of Southampton Business School, a MA in Industrial relations from Warwick University Business School and a BA in Sociology, also from Warwick.