Andrew Brown

Professor of Economics and Political Economy
Divisional Director of Research

+44(0)113 343 6859
Academic, Economics
GM.16, Maurice Keyworth Building


PhD Economics, University of Middlesex

MA Economics, University of Leeds

BA (Jt Hons) Economics/ Philosophy, University of Leeds


2016 - present          Professor of Economics and Political Economy

2008 – 2016              Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Leeds

2000 – 2008              Lecturer in Economics, University of Leeds

1999 - 2000              Research Assistant (econometrics, political economy) South Bank University and University of East London

Summary of overall research interests

My research advances explanations of key developments in economy and society. I have published on theories of value and growth, financialisation, the euro, job quality and job satisfaction, wellbeing, infrastructure economics, and ICT. I also stress the research importance of methodology and philosophy and have published on activity theory, critical realism, dialectics, mixed methods, and approaches to interdisciplinarity.

My paper on critical realism and systematic dialectics was winner of the 2015 Sage prize for Innovation and/or Excellence. I lead large-scale interdisciplinary research projects across economists, engineers, mathematicians, environmental scientists and social scientists. The total external grant income for projects in which I am Co-I or PI is circa £15M (funders include EC, ESRC, EPSRC, NERC, HSE, BIS, and the ISRF).

I co-organised the 2012 British Sociological Association (BSA) presidential event on the global financial crisis, and presented at a special plenary of the 2015 BSA conference. I work closely with policy makers and stakeholders, e.g. I have advised HM Treasury on infrastructure economics. 


Major funded projects

  • 2016 – 2021: Co-I, EPSRC, ‘Balancing the impact of City Infrastructure Engineering on Natural systems using Robots’ (£4.2 million)
  • 2014 – 2017: Co-I, NERC-ESRC, ‘CVORR: Complex-Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery’ (£1.2 million)
  • 2013 – 2017: Co-Director, EPSRC-ESRC, ‘i-BUILD: Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery’ (£3.5 million)
  • 2011 – 2016: Co-I, EU FP7, ‘FESSUD: Financialisation, Economy, Society and Sustainable Development’ (€8 million)

Other research activities

  • 2015 – : Member ‘Green Book+’ group of the Major Projects Association (with, e.g., HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, DfT, TfL, HS2, Crossrail, KPMG, Institute of Civil Engineers, The Nichols Group, Volterra Consulting)
  • 2014 – : Director of IMBUES [Infrastructure in Management, Business, Economy and Society] research centre, Leeds University Business School
  • 2014–2015: Member, Strategic Infrastructure Independencies Group, HM Treasury
  • 2013 – : Editorial board member, Infrastructure Asset Management
  • 2012: Joint organiser (with John Holmwood) of British Sociological Association Presidential Event, ‘Understanding the financial crisis: sociology, political economy and heterodox economics’, British Library
  • 2009 – 2016: Co-founder and co-coordinator of the ‘Political Economy of Work’ study group, part of the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy


Current teaching

PGR Level: Nature and Philosophy of Social Science Research, 15 credit, 1 Semester
I devised and deliver this module which is compulsory for all new PhD students and MRes students in LUBS and open to York University and Sheffield University students as part of the White Rose DTC. It covers the philosophy and history of social science, interdisciplinary and mixed methods research, making research bids and achieving research impact.

Past teaching at Leeds

PGR Level: Understanding the Global Economy: Capitalist Institutions, Growth and Crises 
UG levels 1-3: Macroeconomics, Mathematics and Statistics for Business and Economics Studies, Applied Economics, Explanation in Economics (an optional module in economic methodology), Undergraduate Economics Dissertation




1.      Allen, D., Brown, A., Karanasios, S. and Norman, A., ‘How should technology-mediated organizational change be explained? A comparison of the contributions of critical realism and activity theory’, Management and Information Systems Quarterly, 2013 [4*; world elite; FT45]

2.      Brown, A., Charlwood, A. and Spencer, D. A., ‘Not all that it might seem: why job satisfaction is worth studying despite it being a poor measure of job quality’, Work, Employment and Society, 26, 6, to be published Dec. 2012. [4*]


1.      Brown, A. and Spencer, D. A., ‘The nature of economics and the failings of the mainstream:   lessons from Lionel Robbins’s Essay’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 36, 4: 781–798, 2012 [3*]

2.      Brown, A., Charlwood, A., Forde, C. and Spencer, D. A., ‘Changes in Human Resource Management and Job Satisfaction 1998-2004: Evidence from the Workplace Employment Relations Survey’, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 237-56, 2008 [3*]

3.      Brown, A., ‘A Materialist Development of Some Recent Contributions to the Labour Theory of Value’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp.125–46, 2008 [3*]

4.      Brown, A., ‘Reorienting Critical Realism: a System-wide Perspective on the Capitalist Economy’, Journal of Economic Methodology, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp.497–517, 2007 [2*]

5.      Brown, A, Charlwood, A., Forde, C. and Spencer, D.A., ‘Job Quality and the Economics of New Labour: a critical appraisal using subjective survey data’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol.36, No.6, pp. 941–71, 2007 [3*]

6.      Arestis, P., Brown, A., Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal, I. and Sawyer, M.C., ‘Asymmetries of Demand for Money Functions Amongst EMU Countries’, Investigacion Economica, Vol.LXII, No.245, pp.15–32, 2003

7.      Brown, A., Slater, G. and Spencer, D.A., ‘Driven to Abstraction: Critical realism and the search for the “inner connection” of social phenomena’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol.26, No.1, pp.773–88, 2002 [3*]

8.      Arestis, P., Brown, A., Mouratidis, K. and Sawyer, M.C., ‘The Euro: reflections on the first three years’, International Review of Applied Economics, Vol.16, No.1, pp.1–17, 2002 [2*]

9.      Arestis, P., Brown, A., Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal, I. and Sawyer, M.C., ‘Explaining the Euro’s Initial Decline’, Eastern Economic Journal, Vol.28, No.1, pp.71–88, 2002

10.   Brown, A., ‘Comment on Dow’s “Post Keynesianism and Critical Realism: What is the connection?”’, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Vol.23, No.2, pp.348–56, 2001 [2*]


1.      Brown, A., Fleetwood, S. and Roberts, J.M. (eds), Critical Realism and Marxism, pp.280, London, Routledge, 2002

[Chinese edition (2008) available from Guangxi Normal University Press, translated by Pi Pan ShiZai Lun Yu MaKessi Zhu Yi].

2.      Arestis, P., Brown, A. and Sawyer, M.C., The Euro: Evolution and Prospects, pp.152, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2001


1.      Brown, A., ‘Critical Realism’, revised entry in King, J. (ed.) The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics, pp.121–126, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, second edition, 2012

2.      Brown, A., ‘Economics’, entry in Hartwig, M. (ed.), Dictionary of Critical Realism, pp.115–6, London, Routledge, 2007 

3.      Arestis, P., Brown, A., Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal, I. and Sawyer, M.C., ‘The decline of the euro in its first two years: is there a satisfactory explanation?’, in Rouchon, L. and M. Seccareccia (eds) Dollariszation, pp. 15–29, London, Routledge, 2003

4.      Arestis, P., Brown, A. and Sawyer, M.C., ‘Critical Realism and the Political Economy of the Euro’, in Downward, P. (ed.), Applied Economics and the Critical Realist Critique, pp.233–46, London, Routledge, 2003

5.      Brown, A., ‘Critical Realism’, entry in King, J. (ed.) The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics, pp.82–86, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2003

6.      Arestis, P., Brown, A., Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal, I. and Sawyer, M.C., ‘Causes of Euro Instability’, in El-Agraa, A.M. (ed.) The Euro and Britain, pp.153–90, London, Financial Times / Prentice Hall, 2002

7.      Brown, A., ‘Developing Realistic Philosophy: from critical realism to materialist dialectics’ in Brown, A., S. Fleetwood and J.M. Roberts (eds), Critical Realism and Marxism, pp.168–86, London, Routledge, 2002

8.      Brown, A., Fleetwood, S. and Roberts, J.M., ‘The Marriage of Critical Realism and Marxism: happy, unhappy or on the rocks?’ introduction to Brown, A.,  Fleetwood, S. and Roberts, J.M. (eds), Critical Realism and Marxism, pp.1–22, London, Routledge, 2002      


1.      Brown A. and Spencer, D.A., ‘Cost and the “means-ends” definition of economics in Lionel Robbins’s Essay: analysis and contemporary implications’ in Proceedings of Lionel Robbins Essay On the Nature and Significance Of Economic Science - 75th Anniversary Conference, Occasional Papers No. 23, STICERD LSE, 2009

2.      Brown, A. ‘Developing Realistic Methodology: How new dialectics surpasses the critical realist method for social science’, Middlesex University Business School, Economics Discussion Paper, No.66, 1999


1.      Brown, A., Charlwood, A. and Forde, C. and Spencer, D. A., ‘Are workers really so content?’, in Well Being and Working Life: towards an evidence-based policy agenda, Report by the ESRC and HSE, pp.102, March 2010

2.      Brown, A., Charlwood, A., Forde, C. and Spencer, D.A., ‘Changing job quality in Great Britain’, Employment Relations Research Series Report No 70, London: Department of Trade and Industry, 2006.

[Cited by Alistair Darling in a speech available at ]


1.      Symposium on Brenner and the Global Economic Crisis, Historical Materialism, Vol.4, No.1, 1999

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