New-Year knighthood for Shoreham-born economist

Sir Richard Blundell, CBE, was knighted for services to economics and social studies
Sir Richard Blundell, CBE, was knighted for services to economics and social studies

AN ECONOMIST who was born and raised in Shoreham has been knighted for his services to economics and social science.

Sir Richard Blundell, CBE, who holds the David Ricardo chair of political economy at University College London (UCL), and is a research director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said he was surprised and delighted to see his name on the list.

“I’m not sure why I was picked out, but I was very pleased,” he said.

Sir Richard grew up in Shoreham and attended Boundstone Comprehensive School in Lancing in the 1960s.

“I used to cycle to school over the old wooden bridge every day until I was old enough to buy a Lambretta,” he said.

Sir Richard recalled fond memories of his time at Boundstone, especially around maths and music.

“I have kept in touch with lots of people I knew at school. It was a very friendly and encouraging environment to go to school in,” he said.

Aeden Kerney taught music at Boundstone from 1968 to 2009

“He is just an amazing person,” said Mr Kerney.

“He really loved being at school.

“It was a very exciting time for education. He took the opportunities that were there and made the most of them.”

Mr Kerney said Sir Richard was heavily involved in music at Boundstone, and was very popular with students and teachers alike.

Sir Richard graduated with a first in economics with statistics from Bristol in 1973, and earned an MSc in econometrics from the London School of Economics in 1975.

He went on to lecture in econometrics at Manchester, before becoming professor of economics at UCL in 1984.

Since 2004, Sir Richard has become president of five professional bodies, including the European Economics Association, and has been awarded three honorary doctorates from universities in Switzerland, Germany and Norway.

He was made a CBE in 2006 for his services to economics and social science.

“I suppose the biggest highlight of my career was moving to London to this professorship at UCL at the age of 32,” he said.

“Bringing the relationship between academic work and policy impact at the IFS is pretty unique and has been a very successful part of my career.

“I love doing research and will keep doing it and trying to make good policies.”