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Assets and Liabilities and Scottish Independence


  • Dr Monique Ebell


  • Dr Angus Armstrong



Scottish independence implies an economic future that is different from remaining in the United Kingdom. The economic debate largely comes down to whether this would leave Scots better or worse off. By most measures, Scotland's current economic standing is very similar to that of an average UK region. Output per head, income and unemployment are almost all exactly the same as the average UK region. This is not surprising given the economic and social integration and shared institutions, and is consistent with the idea of conditional convergence. This suggests that after controlling for differences in institutions and other characteristics (so-called 'initial conditions'), countries tend to converge to similar levels of income.[1] However, if Scotland becomes an independent nation, some of the shared UK assets, liabilities and institutions would need to be divided-up. This would change the 'initial conditions' for Scotland and the rest of the UK and therefore we would be likely to see a different economic future for both regions. See Barro and Sala-i-Martin, 1991

Suggested Citation

  • Dr Monique Ebell & Dr Angus Armstrong, 2014. "Assets and Liabilities and Scottish Independence," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 426, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:niesrd:11820

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    1. Dr Monique Ebell & Dr Angus Armstrong, 2013. "Scotland’s Currency Options," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 415, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ostfeld, Rosemary & Reiner, David M., 2020. "Public views of Scotland's path to decarbonization: Evidence from citizens' juries and focus groups," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    2. Ostfeld, R. & Reiner, D., 2019. "Exploring public support for climate action and renewables in resource-rich economies: The case of Scotland," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1987, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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    2. Ronald MacDonald & Research Fellow CESifo Policy Group Munich, "undated". "An independent Scotland’s currency options redux: Assessing the costs and benefits of currency choice," Working Papers 2014_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.

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