Professor Graeme Roy
- Dean of External Engagement and Deputy Head of College (Social Sciences College Senior Management)
- Professor in Economics (Economics)
Graeme is Dean of External Engagement in the College of Social Sciences. He supports academics across the College in communications, research, impact, and stakeholder engagement. Graeme is responsible for the College’s £1.25m ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.
Prior to joining Glasgow in March 2021, he was Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde.
Graeme is also a former Senior Civil Servant in the Scottish Government, where he was Head of the First Minister’s Policy Unit and a Senior Economic Adviser.
Graeme’s research focus is on economic policy and devolution. He is a regular commentator and public speaker on the Scottish economy, including writing a monthly column for the Herald newspaper.
Graeme was the independent special adviser to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee between 2017 and 2018. He is a former member of the UK Government’s Scottish Business Taskforce and the Scottish Government’s National Economic Transformation Council. Between 2019 and 2023, he chaired an independent evaluation group for Public Health Scotland to monitor the Economic Impact of Minimum Unit Pricing.
Graeme is a Lead Editor for the Economics Observatory and is also the Scottish lead for the International Public Policy Observatory. In 2023, he led the University’s Adam Smith Tercentenary commemorations.
Graeme is co-host – with Kezia Dugdale – of the University of Glasgow’s Spotlight podcast.
Outside of his university work, Graeme is a board member of Stirling Community Enterprise a social enterprise based in the Raploch area of Stirling that supports community-based training and employment.
In 2023, Graeme was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Graeme was appointed Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scotland’s official independent economic and fiscal forecaster established to support the Scottish Budget process. For further details see Scottish Fiscal Commission.
Graeme is a member of the School's Applied Economics Research Cluster.
Areas of expertise:
- Public policy
- Applied economics
- Scottish economy
- Economic policy
- The ProPEL Hub – extension 2023/24, ESRC, Value of award: £399,423, Jul 2023 – Mar 2024
- The ProPEL Hub – “Productivity Outcomes of workplace Practice, Engagement and Learning”, ESRC, Value of award: £1.57 million, Jan 2020 – Dec 2022, propelhub.org(transferred from PI to CI when moved to Glasgow)
- “The changing patterns of working hours and the implications for poverty and inequality”, Standard Life Foundation, Value of award: £68,000, Jan 2020 - Jan 21.
- “Modelling the Economic Impact of a Citizen’s Basic Income in Scotland”, Scottish Improvement Service, Value of award: £112,500, Apr 2019 – Jan 2020
- “Boosting Applied Economics Capacity in Scotland”, Scottish Funding Council, Value of award: £225,000, Jan 2019 – Dec 2021
- “Evaluating the impact of Scottish Enterprise Grants”, Scottish Enterprise, Value of award: £40,000, Jan 2018 – Mar 2019
- “The impact of non-energy policies on the energy system”, UK Energy Research Centre, Value of award: £214,076, Jun 2017 – Dec 2018
- “Developing macroeconomic modelling for Scottish think-tanks”, Scottish Policy Foundation, Value of award £85,000, Jul 2017 – Jun 2019
- “Scotland’s new Fiscal Powers”, Scottish Funding Council, Value of award £40,000, Sep 2016 – Aug 2018
- “Economic Observatory”, ESRC, Value of award: £1.1m, Jan 2023 – Dec 2024
- "International Public Policy Observatory”, ESRC, £2.2 million, Jan 2023 – Dec 2024
- “Smith@300: Celebrating Adam Smith As Scholar, Educator, And Citizen”, John Templeton Foundation, $1,182,387, 2022 - 2024
- “Gallant: Glasgow as a Living Lab Accelerating Novel Transformation”, NERC £10.2 million, Jan 2022 – Jan 2027
- “University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences ESRC Impact Accelerator Account”, Until December 2022
- “Economic Observatory”, ESRC, Value of award: £882,886, Dec 2020 – Dec 2022
- “Improving the quality of regional economic indicators”, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE), Value of award: £240,000, Apr 2019 – May 2021
- “Evaluation of the Small Business Bonus Scheme in Scotland”, Scottish Government, Value of award: £81,000, Jun 2019 – Jan 2021
- “Improving the quality of regional economic indicators”, Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE), Value of award: £287,000, Jul 2017 – Apr 2019
- "Class Size and Human Capital Accumulation", Nuffield Foundation, Value of award: £130,000 (with Markus Gehrsitz & Stuart McIntyre), Apr 2019 – Mar 2021
- “The roles of provinces and devolved administrations in the negotiation and implementation of a Canada-UK trade agreement”, Knowledge Synthesis Grant, ESRC, Value of award: £8,048, Feb 2018 – Dec 2018
Graeme is happy to supervise students with an interest in public policy, fiscal decentralisation and devolution.
- Ross McKenzie, 2023: “Essays on the economic impact of migration in sending and receiving countries”
- Daniel Borbely, 2020: “Essays in Essays on the impact of changing tax rates and welfare spending”
- Rohan Sachdev, 2021: "Economic modelling of alcohol taxes", now working in public sector research
For writings between 2016 and 2021 (including various editions of the Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary).
Director of the Economic Futures initiative: 3-year funding programme to support the development of applied economics in Scotland.
- Net zero: can cities become carbon-neutral on their own? Here’s what the evidence suggests, The Conversation (August 2023)
- Economics Observatory
- Levelling up: what might it mean for Scotland?
- Scottish independence: what are the big economic questions?
- How is Brexit affecting Scotland’s fishing industry?
- How hard will coronavirus hit Scotland's economy?
- How will UK tax rise to fund social care affect the devolved nations?
- How is Scotland’s economy faring in the pandemic?
- Has devolution led to different outcomes during the Covid-19 crisis?
- Levelling up – an opportunity for coherent regional policy or a constitutional ruse?, with David Bell and Davie Waite, Academy of Social Sciences
- Scottish independence referendum: why the economic issues are quite different to 2014, The Conversation (January 2021)
The Herald articles
- Levelling-up has concentrated on so-called ‘left-behind’ regions (November 2023)
- Scotland census reveals population shifts: Graeme Roy (October 2023)
- Statistics must be treated with caution (September 2023)
- Major takeovers see profits exit Scotland (August 2023)
- Scottish economy sees slow and fragile growth (June 2023)
- First and foremost, Adam Smith was a moral philosopher (May 2023)
- Scottish fiscal sustainability questions loom large (April 2023)
- Fiscal pressures not unique to Scotland but plan needed (March 2023)
- Fixating on minutiae misses the overall economic story (February 2023)
- History’s valuable lessons in the economic fundamentals (December 2022)
- The issues Adam Smith wrote about are still relevant today (December 2022)
- Effect of high inflation is big difference this time (November 2022)
- Work of independent fiscal institutions benefits all of us (October 2022)
- Home working here to stay and its effects will be varied (August 2022)
- Unenviable rate decisions as inflation fuels recession fear (July 2022)
- Long-term sustainability of Scotland’s finances in focus (June 2022)
- Relentless focus on delivery required for economy (April 2022)
- Academic input into constitutional debate is welcome (February 2022)
- Spring spending review is good time to take stock (January 2022)
- Productivity task is a long-term one (December 2021)
- Budget reaction focused too much on short-term politics (November 2021)
- Budget debate vital to growth prospects (October 2021)
- National insurance row puts fresh strain on Scotland-UK relationship (September 2021)
- What do we mean by levelling-up? (August 2021)
- Nations must work together to foster a global Covid recovery (August 2021)
- Slower progress than hoped (July 2021)
- Hugely uneven recovery in prospect (June 2021)
- What can we learn from across the Irish Sea? (May 2021)
- Crucial to scrutinise costs of politicians’ election promises (April 2021)
- Levelling up is much easier said than done (March 2021)
- Rishi Sunak must prioritise economic recovery (February 2021)
- We must back rural and island economies (January 2021)
- EU exit will shape our economy for decades (December 2020)
- Scale of crisis means unpalatable choices (October 2020)
- Will the new Job Retention Scheme work? (September 2020)
- Re-birth of our towns will need genuine partnership (August 2020)
- Collective response as a country to eliminate this virus holds key to speed of economic recovery (July 2020)
- The importance of a prosperous economy for our collective wellbeing cannot be overestimated (June 2020)
- There is simply no precedent for situation we find ourselves in (April 2020)
- Tackling regional inequalities is the latest to be resurrected from the archives (March 2020)
- Sober assessment of Scotland’s economic prospects is hardly surprising (February 2020)
The Herald - Business HQ magazine
- Amid all the current panic over energy and inflation, another major threat to public finances and the economy is looming….our ageing population (October 2022)
- Adviser to Scottish Parliament Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee (2017 – 2018)
- Witness to Scottish Parliament Committees: Economy Committee, Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations, Finance and Constitution Committee
- Witness to House of Commons Scottish Affair Committee
- Witness to House of Lords EU Select Committee & Constitution Committee
- 2022: SOLACE, “Supply and Demand Pressures on Public Funding”, Edinburgh, September 2022
- 2022: UK in a Changing Europe, "Independence in the EU and Scotlands borders", online, February 2022
- 2021: The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), "The road to the bawee - Currency options for an independent Scotland", Edinburgh, December 2021
- 2021: Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), “Scotland’s economic future”, Edinburgh, August 2021
- 2020: Chartered Institute of Taxation Annual Public Lecture, “Scotland’s tax powers: Opportunities and risks”, Edinburgh, March 2020
- 2020: State of the State with Deloitte, “Inequality in Scotland”, January 2020, Scottish Parliament
- 2019: Sir Alexander Stone Lecture: “Brexit: the unanswered questions for UK and Scottish policymakers”, Glasgow, November 2019
- 2019 David Hume Institute, “Scotland's population transition: its implications for the Scottish economy, Scottish Budget and policy”, Edinburgh, November 2019
- 2019: Aberdeen State of the Cities, “Economic uncertainty”, November 2019
- 2019: Welsh Taxes the Way Forward, “Devolved taxes: lessons from Scotland”, Cardiff, July 2019
- 2019: SCDI Annual Conference, “Scotland’s Productivity Challenge”, Edinburgh, April 2019
- Glasgow State of the City 2018, “Brexit and the Glasgow Economy”, Glasgow, December 2018
- 2018: Scottish Tourism Alliance Conference, “Scotland’s tourism sector post-Brexit”, Glasgow, April 2018
- 2018: CIPFA Annual Conference, “Outlook for Scotland’s Budget”, Glasgow, March 2018
- Business Insider Top 500 2018, “Brexit and the Scottish economy”, Edinburgh January 2018
- 2017: Glasgow Trades House Annual Lecture, “Opportunities and risks for Scotland in a post-Brexit world”, Glasgow, May 2017
- David Hume Institute, “Scotland's new budget framework”, Edinburgh, May 2017
- Lead editor, ESRC Economic Observatory(since March 2020)
- Chair ESRC Policy Fellowship Panel 2021
- Member of Senior Management team of Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence, July 2017 – November 2021
- Member, Scottish Government Advisory Council for Economic Transformation, since 2021
- Member, Northern Ireland Executive Economic Advisory Group, since 2020
- Chair, Independent Evaluation Group into Economic Impact of Minimum Unit Pricing, Public Health Scotland, since 2018
- Adviser, Scottish Business Taskforce, UK Government, 2017 - 2020
- Independent adviser, Strategic Labour Market Group, Scottish Government, 2017 - 2021
- Aberdeen City Region Growth Panel, since 2019
- Aberdeen City Net Zero Leadership Group, since 2020
- Commissioner, Glasgow City Region City Deal Growth Commission, since 2016
- Independent expert, Review of Scottish Legal Aid Fees, Scottish Government, 2018 - 2021