Welcome to my homepage

I am a professor of finance and economics at Durham University.


I am interested in financial economics, monetary economics, macroeconomics and political economy. My main interests are in free banking or laissez-faire financial systems and private money, and I have written a few books about these subjects. I am also interested in central banking and financial regulation, monetary economics, macroeconomics, commodity-based money, financial risk management, pensions/PensionMetricsmortality and longevity risk, and equity release.


My work is heavily influenced by Austrian and Public Choice economics. Austrian economics teaches us the importance of first principles, spontaneous order, unintended consequences and the pitfalls of interventionist policies. Public Choice economics teaches us to see policy issues in terms of underlying vested interests, including those of public agencies such as central banks and regulatory agencies. An underlying theme of my work is the importance of institutional arrangements, respect for individual rights and the rule of law, and skepticism about policies that rely on the wisdom of policymakers or their ability to forecast the future. 


Recent projects


Recent projects include free banking (e.g., here or here), bank capital adequacycentral bank stress testsBrexitCoCo bondsthe War on Cash, cryptocurrency, equity release mortgageshelicopter moneyNapoleonic war financeliving with unreliable mortality data (a big problem in the life actuarial field), longevity risk management and big data mortality modelling


I contribute regularly to the The Eumaeus Project, a blog site set up by Dean Buckner that provides commentary on financial regulatory issues, banking, the life insurance industry and equity release. 


My report Asleep at the Wheel: The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Equity Release Sector was published by the Adam Smith Institute on 7 August 2018 after a joint investigation with BBC journalist Howard Mustoe (see here and here). 


I gave the Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture on the subject of "The Failure of Monetary Stimulus" to the Austrian Economics Research Conference at the Mises Institute in Auburn Alabama on 24 March 2018. The talk is available on the web (here for short version or here for longer version).


Selected recent postings


"To make banks strong, do away with the regulator." IEA blog, 13 May 2020. Reposted by the American Institute for Economic Research, 14 May 2020. 


Selected recent publications


Review of The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy by Stephanie Kelton. New York: Public Affairs, 2020. Cato Journal, Vol. 40, Number 3, Fall 2020, pp. 795-809. 


How Strong are UK Banks - and can they pass the Covid-19 stress test? (K. Dowd and D. Buckner) Institute of Economic Affairs Covid-19 Briefing (31 July 2020).


"Are CoCo Bonds Useful as Core Capital Instruments?" (July 2020). Journal of New Finance: Vol. 1, No. 1, Article 1: DOI 10.46671/2521-2480.1000 Available at https://jnf.ufm.edu/journal/vol1/iss1/1. 


Can UK Banks Pass the Covid-19 Stress Test? (D. Buckner and K. Dowd) The Eumaeus Project, 6 May 2020. 


"CBDX: A Workhorse Mortality Model from the Cairns-Blake-Dowd Family" (K. Dowd, A.J.G. Cairns and D. Blake) Annals of Actuarial Statistics1–16. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1748499520000159.


"Hedging Pension Risks with the Age-Period-Cohort Two-Population Gravity Model." (K. Dowd, A.J.G. Cairns and D. Blake) North American Actuarial Journal. Published online on 20 November 2019 at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10920277.2019.1652102.


"The War on Cash is about Much More than Cash.Economic Affairs (2019); 39: 391-399. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecaf.12377.


"The Valuation of No Negative Equity Guarantees and Equity Release Mortgages." (K. Dowd, D. Buckner, D. Blake and J. Fry) Economics Letters 184 (2019) 108669.


No Stress IV: The Flaws in the Bank of England's 2018 Stress Tests. London: Adam Smith Institute, 3 August 2019. 


The Eumaeus Guide to Equity Release Valuation: Restating the Case for Market Consistent Valuation(D. Buckner and K. Dowd) The Eumaeus Project, 15 July 2019.


What a Capital Idea! How to Make Britain's Banks More Competitive, Innovative, and Safer. (J. Cochrane and K. Dowd, with an introduction by M. Lesh). London: Adam Smith Institute, 1 May 2019.


"Modelling Socio-Economic Differences in the Mortality of Danish Males Using a New Affluence Index." (A.J.G. Cairns, M. Kallestrup-Lamb, C.P.T. Rosenskjold, D. Blake and K. Dowd) ASTIN Bulletin (2019) 49: 555-590. 


"The Apotheosis of the Rentier: How Napoleonic War Finance Kick-Started the Industrial Revolution." (M. Hutchinson and K. Dowd) Cato Journal 38(3) (Fall 2018): 655-678.


"Still Living with Mortality: the Longevity Risk Transfer Market After One Decade." (D. Blake, A.J.G. Cairns, K. Dowd and A.R. Kessler) Presented at a Sessional Research Meeting of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 29 January 2018. British Actuarial Journal 24: 1-80.


"Against Helicopter Money." Cato Journal 38(1) (Winter 2018): 147-169.


No Stress III: The Flaws in the Bank of England's 2016 Stress Tests. London: Adam Smith Institute, 13 September 2017.


"A Trade Policy for a Brexited Britain." Institute of Economic Affairs Discussion Paper No. 85, 18 August 2017. 


"Phantoms Never Die: Living with Unreliable Mortality Data." (A.J.G. Cairns, D. Blake, K. Dowd and A.R. Kessler) Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (2016), 179, Part 4, pp. 975-1005.


Work in progress


"Black Scholes with Fewer Assumptions." (D. Buckner and K. Dowd)


"Asleep at the Wheel II: The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Scandal of Matching Adjustment." (D. Buckner and K. Dowd)


"Are Equity Release Mortgages Suitable Assets for Pension Funds?" (D. Buckner and K. Dowd)


Other affiliations


I am an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute (Washington DC), a senior fellow of the Adam Smith Institute (London), the American Institute for Economic Research and of the Cobden Centre for Honest Money and Social Progress, a former member of Economists for Free Trade/Economists for Brexit, a research fellow of the Independent Institute (Oakland, CA), a member of the academic advisory board of the Institute of Economic Affairs (London) and a member of the academic advisory board of the TaxPayers' Alliance


I have previously worked for the Ontario Economic Council, the Universities of Nottingham and Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam University. 




BA (Economics) University of Sheffield (1980); MA (Economics) University of Western Ontario (1981); PhD (Economics) University of Sheffield (1988).


Prospective PhD students and academic visitors


I am currently unable to take on any PhD supervisions or accommodate visiting scholars. 


Contact details

Durham University Business School, Durham University, Mill Hill Lane, Durham DH1 3LB, United Kingdom.


Email: kevin.dowd@outlook.com; kevin.dowd@durham.ac.uk. 


Date: 8 October 2020


Kevin's CV