Labour’s economics team

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have seven economists advising them on economic policy. But who are they and what do they stand for?


Thomas Piketty: Jeremy Corbyn supporter

Thomas Piketty

The Paris School of Economics professor, who also served as an economic adviser to French Socialist Party candidate Sgolne Royal ahead of the 2007 French election, is best known for his much-debated 2014 bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in which he suggested that inequality is a natural side effect of capitalism, which can only be fixed through government intervention. He has described Corbyn's election as "a brilliant opportunity for the Labour Party to construct a fresh and new political economy" that will "expose austerity for the failure it has been".

Joseph Stiglitz

The 2001 economics Nobel-prize winner and senior professor at Columbia University is the fourth-most cited economist currently working. He chaired the US Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton, before serving as chief economist at the World Bank. He has also worked with the Greek and Scottish governments. He opposes austerity and argues that firms "should embrace corporate responsibility not [for] selfish self-interest, but because it is the right thing to do".

Ann Pettifor

South African-born Pettifor advised Ken Livingstone, then leader of the General London Council, in the 1980s. She founded Jubilee 2000, a campaign for the cancellation of debt owed by developing nations, which contributed to the G8's decision to cancel $100bn of such debt in 1999. She forecast the global financial crisis as early as 2003, and explored the topic more fully in her 2006 book The Coming First World Debt Crisis.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

Mariana Mazzucato

The University of Sussex economics professor wrote The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths, in which she argues that the state plays a key role in taking risks with public funds that enable private sector entrepreneurs to thrive for example, arguing that key technologies that enabled the smartphone were first developed by public bodies.

David Blanchflower

The self-styled "Tory-baiting Ivy League economist" and former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member has said that he is "not a Corbyn supporter", and doesn't share many of his views. However, in August he (along with Mazzucato) signed a letter to The Observer endorsing Corbyn's opposition to austerity. He famously warned in 2009 that the coalition's economic policies could push UK unemployment up to over five million.

Anastasia Nesvetailova

The City University professor has argued that banks' aggressive lending was the key driver of the financial crisis. She also believes there could well be another meltdown as there has not yet been sufficient economic reform.

Simon Wren-Lewis

The Oxford University professor is another critic of austerity who has described Corbyn's plan for "People's QE" as "promising". In his blog this week he noted that "as Labour are the main opposition to the current government, and I think their macro policies are pretty awful, it would have been bizzare indeed if I had said no to this invitation".