Welcome to my homepage

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


I am interested mainly in financial economics, monetary economics, macroeconomics and political economy. My main interest is 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, sound money (by which I mean sound commodity-based money), financial risk management, pensions/PensionMetricsmortality and longevity risk, actuarial science and housing finance.


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 mortgages, helicopter 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 publications


"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.


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


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


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


"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.


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


"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. 


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.


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.


"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.


Forthcoming publications


"The War on Cash is about Much More than Cash." Forthcoming, Journal of Economic Affairs.


"Hedging Pension Risks with the Age-Period-Cohort Two-Population Gravity Model." (K. Dowd, A.G.J. Cairns and D. Blake) Forthcoming, North American Actuarial Journal.


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)


"CBDX: A New CBD Mortality Model with Age Effects" (K. Dowd, A.J.G. Cairns and D. Blake)


"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 member of Economists for Free Trade (formerly 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 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 sorry but 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. 


If you wish to contact me, my preferred contact in the first instance is kevin.dowd@outlook.com.


Date: 7 October 2019


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