Surveys

Are academic economists ‘in touch’ with voters and politicians?

Summary

The outcome of the UK’s referendum on EU membership has prompted much soul-searching in the economics profession, which was nearly unanimous in anticipating negative economic consequences from a vote for Brexit. The July 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked for views on the role played by economic arguments in the referendum outcome, and whether institutional change is needed in the way that the findings of academic economic research – and the views of the profession as a whole – are communicated.

Brexit: the potential of a financial catastrophe and long-term consequences for the UK financial sector

Summary

The June 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked for views on the impact of the UK’s referendum on membership of the European Union for the country’s financial sector. Almost all panel members thought that a vote for Brexit would lead to a significant disruption to financial markets and asset prices for several months, which would put the Bank of England on high alert.

The future role of (un)conventional unconventional monetary policy

Summary

The April 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked for the panel’s views on the future role of unconventional monetary policy. Opinions were divided, with healthy doses of scepticism on the effectiveness of current and future policies, but also many respondents expressing urgency that central banks should have more policy tools to affect inflation and real activity when the need arises. Ultimately, the experts’ hesitations match those of central banks.

Background

National Living Wage and the UK economy

Summary

A new National Living Wage (NLW) replaces the UK’s National Minimum Wage from April – and so the March 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked the panel what are likely to be its effects on employment, wages and prices. A majority of respondents believe that the NLW will not lead to significantly lower employment; similarly a majority of respondents believe that the NLW will only have a muted effect on wages and prices.

Brexit and financial market volatility

Summary

The February 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked the panel to opine on whether the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union – ‘Brexit’ – would lead to volatility in financial markets and the broader economy. There was near unanimity that the Brexit question will increase financial volatility and will pose economic costs in the medium term. Financial volatility can be expected to be especially high if polls remain close.

Market Turbulence and Growth Prospects

The January 2016 Centre for Macroeconomics survey of experts asked for the panel’s views on the significance of the recent falls in share prices, low oil prices and the slowdown in some emerging market economies. While all recognise the considerable uncertainty in the world economy, more than two thirds do not fear that these events will have a significant negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery. The main argument is that any negative effect due to lower foreign demand and market instability is compensated by the benefits of lower oil prices.

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