Andrew Mountford's picture
Affiliation: 
Royal Holloway
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Migration and the UK economy August 2014

Question 1: Do you agree that migration to the UK can be expected to be beneficial for the average income of current UK inhabitants in the upcoming decade?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The only answer to this question is "it depends". If immigration is a result of under-investment in human capital in the destination country then this immigration will be playing its part in a process with adverse long run implications for economic wellbeing in the destination economy. On the other hand, if instead, immigration is a complement to investment in human capital by the destination country then it will be playing a part in a healthy process which will be of long run benefit to the destination economy. This is very straightforward. For illustration, suppose, for the sake of argument that becoming a medical doctor is a good thing for individuals and society- it increases people’s human capital and trains them for a socially useful job with high job satisfaction and significant externalities at the individual and societal level , so that its social and private marginal products significantly dominate the costs of training. Now if an economy is importing doctors and not spending the saving by investing in other equivalent socially beneficial sectors then the original inhabitants of the economy will not be trained and so will not benefit from investment in them and so will end up ultimately in a worse position. If on the other hand an economy is importing doctors to create a vibrant world class heath care sector which creates new jobs and thereby increases the demand and opportunities for its original inhabitants to become medical doctors then ultimately they will end up in a better position. Beyond this example about medical doctors, the general point, which I think it is well recognised by academic economists, is that one needs to look at the underlying dynamic process behind a phenomenon if one is to fully understand its implications. From my reading of the immigration policy debate this has not been done anything like sufficiently .

UK House Prices and Macro-Prudential Policy July 2014

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Question 2: When housing-related risk is deemed excessive from the viewpoint of financial stability, do you agree that the correct response is to deploy macro-prudential tools, leaving interest rates focused on the needs of inflation and aggregate real activity?

 
Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Tax policy should be sufficient

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Question 1: Do you agree it is time for more robust policy action to prevent a build-up of excessive housing-related risk?

 

 
Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident

Economic Consequences of an Independent Scotland June 2014

Question 2

Assuming that Scotland becomes an independent country, do you agree that the UK government's position of ruling out a monetary union is in the economic interests of the continuing UK? 

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Clearly a poorly thought out currency union - where the banks of one country are de facto guaranteed by the tax payers of another - is in no-one’s interest. However it should be possible for UK and Scottish governments to agree to arrangements and regulations so that this does not happen.

Question 1

Do you agree that that Scotland would better off in economic terms as an independent country?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I do not know the specifics of the Scottish case but in general terms I would expect a government of a smaller state in an advanced democratic economy to set its fiscal arrangements better in line with its own needs and this should help economic growth in the long run. Thus if I were a citizen of Scotland, or indeed Catalonia, I would vote for independence. I am aware of some empirical analysis on the benefits of country size for growth but this is not a strong enough literature on which to base policy and the success of Denmark, Finland and Norway is at least as strong evidence for the potential success of small open advanced economies.

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