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Brexit and Uncertainty: Insights from the Decision Maker Panel

Thwaites, Greg; Bloom, Nicholas; Bunn, Philip; Chen, Scarlet; Mizen, Paul; Smietanka, Pawel; Young, Garry


Greg Thwaites

Nicholas Bloom

Philip Bunn

Scarlet Chen

Paul Mizen

Pawel Smietanka

Garry Young


© 2018 Bank of England. Fiscal Studies © 2018 Institute for Fiscal Studies. The UK's decision to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum created substantial uncertainty for UK businesses. The nature of this uncertainty is different from that of a typical uncertainty shock because of its length, breadth and political complexity. Consequently, a new firm-level survey, the Decision Maker Panel (DMP), was created to investigate this, finding three key results. First, Brexit was reported to be one of the top three sources of uncertainty for around 40percent of UK businesses in the two years after the vote in the June 2016 referendum, and this proportion increased further in Autumn 2018. Hence, Brexit provided both a major and persistent uncertainty shock. Second, uncertainty has been higher in industries that are more dependent on trade with the EU and on EU migrant labour. Third, the uncertainties around Brexit are primarily about the impact on businesses over the longer term rather than shorter term, including uncertainty about the timing of any transition arrangements and around the nature of Brexit.


Thwaites, G., Bloom, N., Bunn, P., Chen, S., Mizen, P., Smietanka, P., & Young, G. (2018). Brexit and Uncertainty: Insights from the Decision Maker Panel. Fiscal Studies, 39(4), 555-580.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 21, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 18, 2018
Publication Date Dec 18, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 2, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 19, 2020
Journal Fiscal Studies
Print ISSN 0143-5671
Electronic ISSN 1475-5890
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 4
Pages 555-580
Keywords Business surveys, Brexit, companies, uncertainty, D80, E66, G18, H32
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bloom, N. , Bunn, P. , Chen, S. , Mizen, P. , Smietanka, P. , Thwaites, G. and Young, G. (2018), Brexit and Uncertainty: Insights from the Decision Maker Panel. Fiscal Studies, 39: 555-580, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


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