Professor Edmund Cannon

Professor Edmund Cannon

Professor Edmund Cannon
Professor of Economics

The Priory Road Complex, Priory Road, Clifton
(See a map)

Telephone Number (0117) 928 8401

Department of Economics

Personal profile

I am an applied economist with two separate areas of research.

Pensions and insurance. Pensions are a form of insurance since an income for life (i.e. an annuity) insures an elderly person against running out of income before they die. Apart from many of the usual problems with insurance markets (such as adverse selection on the demand side and reserving and actuarial valuation on the supply side), annuity markets may have particular behavioural problems: for example, the longevity insurance provided by an annuity is a rare example of insurance against a "good" outcome (when framed as living longer, although the insurance is actually against outliving one's resources). I am also working on other areas of insurance (e.g. car insurance) and on attitudes to risk.

Economic history. I have studied British grain markets to see whether markets became more efficient over time. A major problem is in understanding how grain markets work and being sure that one can identify interesting aspects of marketing from the information available. Typically the data used consist of prices: although there is a superfluity of price data (which appears good), one really needs other variables to be able to understand how markets work (and other variables are rarely available).


Edmund Cannon's interests lie mainly on the edges of macroeconomics, in long-run economic development and pensions/savings. He has done research on money illusion, productivity, regional growth rates, the rôle of financial markets and transport and the effect of demographic change. He is a leading economist on the topic of annuities on which topic he has written a book with Ian Tonks (University of Bath) and is currently working on pensions and the consequences of actuarial projection for annuity pricing. A completely separate area of research with Liam Brunt (NHH, Bergen) is on historical market integration.

He has a strong commitment to the idea that teaching and research are complementary. He currently teaches econometrics and material on the banking crisis; he is on the board of the Economics Network, which promotes good teaching practice in higher education; and he has done several small pieces of pedagogical research.

Fields of interest

Pensions, Economic History, Market Efficiency

Latest publications

  1. Brunt, L & Cannon, E, 2019, ‘A case study of corn sales: Harston Manor’s corn book 1823-42’. in: Wouter Ronsijn, Niccolò Mignemi, Laurent Herment (eds) Stocks, seasons and sales: food supply, storage and markets in Europe and the New World, c 1600-2000. Brepols Publishers, pp. 61-75
  2. Cannon, ES, 2017, ‘The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts, J. Earle, C. Moran, Z. Ward-Perkins. Manchester University Press, Manchester (2016). 212 pp., pb £10.00, ISBN 978-1526-110138’. International Review of Economics Education, vol 25., pp. 43-45
  3. Cannon, ES, Cipriani, G & Bazar-Rosen, K, 2016, ‘More for less?: Puzzling selection effects in the insurance market’. Oxford Economic Papers, vol 68., pp. 879-897
  4. Cannon, ES & Tonks, I, 2016, ‘Cohort mortality risk or adverse selection in annuity markets?’. Journal of Public Economics, vol 141., pp. 68-81
  5. Cannon, E, Tonks, I & Yuille, R, 2016, ‘The Effect of the Reforms to Compulsion on Annuity Demand’. National Institute Economic Review, vol 237., pp. R47-R54
  6. Cannon, ES, Stevens, R & Tonks, IP, 2015, ‘Price efficiency in the Dutch Annuity Market’. Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, vol 14., pp. 1-18
  7. Brunt, L & Cannon, ES, 2015, ‘Variations in the price and quality of English grain, 1750-1914: Quantitative evidence and empirical implications’. Explorations in Economic History, vol 58., pp. 74-92
  8. Cannon, E & Tonks, I, 2013, ‘The Value and Risk of Defined Contribution Pension Schemes: International Evidence’. Journal of Risk and Insurance, vol 80., pp. 95-119
  9. Cannon, ES & Brunt, L, 2013, ‘Measuring integration in the English wheat market, 1770-1820: new methods, new answers’. Explorations in Economic History.
  10. Cannon, ES & Brunt, L, 2013, ‘The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: the English Corn Returns as a data source and in economic history, 1770-1914’. European review of economic history, vol 17., pp. 318
  11. Cannon, E, 2011, ‘Does Downloading Power-Point Slides before a Lecture Lead To Better Student Achievement?’. International Review of Economics Education, vol 10(1)., pp. 83 - 89
  12. Cannon, E & Tonks, I, 2011, ‘Compulsory and Voluntary Annuity Markets in the UK’. in: Olivia S Mitchell, John Piggott, Noriyuki Takayama (eds) Securing Lifelong Retirement Income: Global Annuity Markets and Policy. Oxford University Press, pp. 171 - 196
  13. Tonks, I & Cannon, E, 2008, ‘Annuity Markets’. Oxford University Press
  14. Cannon, E & Tonks, I, 2008, ‘Annuity Markets’. Oxford University Press
  15. Cannon, E & Cipriani, G, 2006, ‘Euro-Illusion: a Natural Experiment’. Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, vol 38 (5)., pp. 1391 - 1403
  16. Cannon, E & Tonks, I, 2004, ‘U.K. Annuity Rates, Money's Worth and Pension Replacement Ratios 1957-2002’. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance: Issues and Practice, vol 29 (3)., pp. 371 - 393
  17. Brunt, L & Cannon, E, 2004, ‘The Irish grain trade from the Famine to the First World War’. Economic History Review, vol 57 (1)., pp. 33 - 79
  18. Cannon, E & Tonks, I, 2004, ‘UK annuity price series, 1957-2002’. Financial History Review, vol 11 (2)., pp. 165 - 196
  19. Cannon, E & Attfield, C, 2003, ‘The Impact of Age Distribution Variables on the Long Run Consumption Function, Bristol Economics Discussion Paper, 03/546’.
  20. Cannon, E, 2000, ‘Economies of Scale and Constant Returns to Capital: A Neglected Early Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth’. American Economic Review, vol 90, 1., pp. 292 - 295
  21. Duck, N & Cannon, E, 2000, ‘Galton's Fallacy and Economic Convergence’. Oxford Economic Papers, vol 52., pp. 415 - 419
  22. Cannon, E, 2000, ‘Human Capital: Level versus Growth Effects’. Oxford Economic Papers, vol 52., pp. 670 - 676
  23. Attfield, C, Cannon, E, Demery, D & Duck, N, 2000, ‘Economic Growth and Geographic Proximity’. Economic Letters.
  24. Cannon, E, Duck, N & Demery, D, 2000, ‘Does Distance Matter for Economic Performance? Evidence from European Regions’. Bristol Economics Discussion Paper, vol 00/509.
  25. Cannon, E, Demery, D & Duck, N, 1999, ‘The Influence of Geographic Proximity on Long and Short Term Movements in European Regional Output’. Bristol Discussion Paper 99/478.
  26. Cannon, E & Brunt, L, 1998, ‘A Grain of Truth in Medieval Interest Rates? Re-examining the McCloskey-Nash Hypothesis’. University of Bristol

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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