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Kevin Dowd’s Homepage

Kevin Dowd’s Homepage

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

I am interested in financial economics, monetary economicsmacroeconomics and political economy. More specifically, I am interested in free banking and private money,  central banking and financial regulationfinancial risk managementpensions/PensionMetricsmortality and longevity risk, and the War on Cash. In recent years, I have also become interested in the policy response to Covid 19equity releaseoption pricing, and central bank digital currencies.

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. 

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

Selected Recent Talks and Presentations

Against Central Bank Digital Currencies.” Presentation to the Institute of International Monetary Research conference, University of Buckingham, 18 October 2023.

My talk to the Durham University Union Society against the motion “This House should ban cryptocurrencies” on 29 April 2022. 

Central Bank Activism: Good Intentions, Bad Policy.” Talk to the Cato Institute’s 39th Annual Monetary Conference “Populism and the Fed” on 18 November 2021. 

The Political Economy of Central Bank Digital Currencies: Towards a Technofascist Dystopia.” Presentation to the Institute of International Monetary Research seminar on Central Bank Digital Currencies, University of Buckingham, 21 July 2021.

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

How Suitable are Equity Release Mortgages as Investments for Pension Funds? (D. Buckner, K. Dowd and H. Hulley) The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice 10.1057/s41288-024-00316-1).

So Far, Central Bank Digital Currencies Have Failed.” (K. Dowd) Economic Affairs (2024).

The Experience of Free Banking, 2nd edition (ed. K. Dowd). London: Institute of Economic Affairs, December 2023. 439 pp.

Arbitrage Problems with Reflected Geometric Brownian Motion.” (D. Buckner, K. Dowd and H. Hulley) Finance and Stochastics (2023) 28:1–26.

“CBDC: Inclusion of the ‘Unbanked’ or Illusion?” (K. Dowd and N. Anthony) Cato at Liberty (30 August 2023).

A Market Consistent Approach to the Valuation of No-Negative Equity Guarantees and Equity Release Mortgages.” (D. Buckner, K. Dowd and H. Hulley) Journal of Demographic Economics 89: 349-372.

The Near Collapse of the UK Pension Sector Exposes Failures by Financial Regulators.” (K. Dowd) Mises Wire 24 November 2022. 

Why Did Trussonomics Fail So Quickly?” (K. Dowd) Mises Wire 21 November 2022. 

The Rise and Fall of Trussonomics.” (K. Dowd) Mises Wire 12 November 2022. 

Built to Last: Analysing the Mortality Experiences of a Large Portfolio of Lives.” (AJG Cairns, D. Blake, K. Dowd, G. Coughlan, O. Jones and J. Rowney) The Actuary 2 November 2022.

A Very British Fiasco.” (K. Dowd) American Institute for Economic Research, 12 October 2022.

The Eumaeus Guide to Equity Release Valuation: Restating the Case for a Market Consistent Approach.” Second edition (D. Buckner and K. Dowd). KSP Books (29 June 2022).

Can UK Banks Pass the Covid-19 Stress Test?” (D. Buckner and K. Dowd). KSP Books (29 June 2022).

“Central Bank Activism: Good Intentions, Bad Policy.” Pp. 255-270 in J. Dorn (ed.) Populism and the Future of the Fed. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute (April 2022).

A General Framework for Analysing the Mortality Experience of a Large Portfolio of Lives: With an Application to the UK Universities Superannuation Scheme.” (A.G.J. Cairns, D. Blake, K. Dowd, G.D. Coughlan, O. Jones and J. Rowney). European Actuarial Journal (29 April 2022). 

Disregard of the Empirical; Optimism of the Will: The Abandonment of Good Government in the Covid-19 Crisis.” (D. Campbell and K. Dowd) Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise Studies in Applied Economics SAE No. 202, March 2022.

Good Practice Principles in Modelling Defined Contribution Pension Funds.” (K. Dowd and D. Blake) Journal of Risk and Financial Management 15: 108. (2022)

Projecting Mortality Rates to Extreme Old Age with the CBDX Model.” (K. Dowd and D. Blake) Forecasting 4, 208-218. 10.3390/forecast4010012 (2022)

The Economic Policies of Lord Liverpool.” (M. Hutchinson and K. Dowd) Cato Journal 41(3): 711-727. DOI 10.36009/CJ.41.3.12. (2021)

“On the Profitability of Equity Release Mortgage Loans.” (K. Dowd and D. Buckner) African Journal of Estate and Property Management Vol. 8, No. 2, September 2021.

Discounting the Discounted Projection Approach.” (D. Buckner and K. Dowd) North American Actuarial Journal DOI: 10.1080/109.20277.2021.1916537 (11 June 2021).

“How Profitable are Equity Release Mortgages?” (D. Buckner and K. Dowd) Economics Letters. 197 (2020) 109651.

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  

The Eumaeus Guide to Equity Release Valuation: Restating the Case for Market Consistent Valuation, 2nd Edition(D. Buckner and K. Dowd) The Eumaeus Project, 19 June 2020.

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 Statistics, 2020 1–16.

“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

The War on Cash is about Much More than Cash.” Economic Affairs (2019); 39: 391-399.

“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. 

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.

Asleep at the Wheel: The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Equity Release Sector. (K. Dowd) London: Adam Smith Institute, 7 August 2018. 

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.” (K. Dowd) Cato Journal 38(1) (Winter 2018): 147-169.

No Stress III: The Flaws in the Bank of England’s 2016 Stress Tests. (K. Dowd) London: Adam Smith Institute, 13 September 2017.

A Trade Policy for a Brexited Britain.” (K. Dowd) 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.

Recent Discussion Papers

On the Profitability of Equity Release Mortgage Loans to Couples.” (Dean Buckner and Kevin Dowd) Eumaeus Discussion Paper 2101 (30 March 2021).

Actuarial Standards.” (Dean Buckner and Kevin Dowd) Eumaeus Discussion Paper 2102 (30 March 2021).

In Defence of the UK Prudential Regulation Authority’s Valuation Principles for Equity Release.” (Dean Buckner and Kevin Dowd) Eumaeus Discussion Paper 2104 (15 May 2021).


I am a senior fellow of the Adam Smith Institute (London) and of the Cobden Centre for Honest Money and Social Progress, an adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute (Washington, DC), 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 (First Class Economics) University of Sheffield (1980); MA (Economics) University of Western Ontario (1981); PhD (Economics) University of Sheffield (1988).

Contact details

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


Date: 24 June 2024

Kevin’s CV