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Celebrating 40 years of the Fraser of Allander Institute Economic Commentary

By Audrey Chisholm - Posted on 26 March 2015

Kevin D. Kane, Managing Editor of the Fraser of Allander Institute Economic Commentary, announces the creation of a digital archive to mark the Institute's 40th anniversary.

2015 is the 40th anniversary of the Fraser of Allander Institute and the Fraser Economic Commentary. Established by a private charitable bequest by Sir Hugh Fraser, one of Scotland’s leading businessmen, the Fraser of Allander Institute first published Vol. 1, No.1 of its path-breaking ‘Quarterly Economic Commentary’ in July 1975. Ever since the Fraser Economic Commentary has provided an independent running commentary on the progress, prospects and economic policy issues facing Scotland and the Scottish economy.

To mark its 40th anniversary, 2015 will see the creation of the Fraser Economic Commentary Digital Archive. This massive undertaking by the University of Strathclyde Andersonian Library recognises the national importance of the Fraser archive as quite simply the single most complete, publicly accessible archive of detailed analyses and commentary on Scotland’s economic development from 1975 to the present. The aim is to make the archive not only freely available to all online but to make it as accessible as possible to users. The Fraser Archive is available at Strathprints, the digital repository of research publications of the University of Strathclyde.

Of course, the ultimate aim is to encourage its active use by researchers, students, journalists and the wider global public to help answer the many questions concerning Scotland’s economic transformation over the past forty years. In our latest Commentary we publish Part One of the Fraser Economic Commentary catalogue for 1975 and 1990.This provides a fascinating overview of articles, topics and issues that drew the attention of Fraser economists and others interested in Scotland’s economy. Articles range from ‘The Demand for Energy in Scotland’ (1976) to ‘The Effects of Iraq on the Scottish Economy’ (1990). The catalogue for 1991-2000 and 2001-present will be published in subsequent Commentaries.

The Commentary also features Alf Young, Visiting Professor with the International Public Policy Institute (IPPI) at the University of Strathclyde and a leading commentator on Scottish industry and the economy. He presents the first of a three-part series of articles on Scotland’s economy, using the Fraser Economic Commentary as a guide to the past 40 years. He charts Scotland’s remarkable economic transformation from 1975 to 1990. Parts Two and Three will appear in subsequent Commentaries.

Alf notes that the Fraser of Allander Institute has provided a continuous commentary on the economic and related policy issues facing Scotland over the last 40 years. He writes, “The Scottish economy the Fraser of AllanderEconomic Commentary set out to analyse in July 1975 was very different in texture and tone from the one it continues to appraise now, in its 40th consecutive year. Then, UK inflation was going through the roof. Now, the fear stalking policy makers is not of hyper-inflation and the kind of wage-price spiral that led to the ‘winter of discontent’ in late 1978, but of the kind of deflationary spiral that has gripped Japan for much of the past quarter century and currently stalks the Eurozone.”

Where will the Scottish economy be in another 40 years? Hard to say but hopefully, our Institute – and Strathclyde Business School - will continue to analyse Scotland and its economy and be able to reflect on a further four decades of economic analyses in 2055.

Would you be more likely to view educational and historical resources if they were available in a digital format? Share your comments below.

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