Charles Nolan's picture
Affiliation: 
University of Glasgow

Voting history

Deal or no deal: The Greece standoff

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Question 1:  

Do you agree that, on balance, the implementation of the agreement as outlined in media reports will have a non-trivial negative effect on Greek GDP?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Difficult to know at the moment what is really on the table and what Tsipras can get through domestically. Equally, for long term gain, there is likely need for short to medium term pain on both sides of these negotiations.

Monetary policy and the zero lower bound (ZLB)

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Question 2: Do you agree that the benefits of reforming the monetary system to allow materially negative policy interest rates outweigh the possible costs?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
It's fun, and enlightening, to think through how such a reform would work. But, my worry is that it would just be asking too much of monetary policy. Indeed, at the ZLB the distinction between monetary and fiscal policy becomes ever more indistinct and we ought not ignore the other levers of fiscal policy,

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Question 1: Do you agree that it is feasible for the UK authorities to change the monetary system so that materially negative policy interest rates could be safely implemented? (In answering, you may wish to explain your reasons and define your view of 'material')

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Whilst probably feasible, there are likely to be more efficacious ways to intervene and boost nominal spending should the need arise. Various programmes of QE have, overall, proven effective lately. Using the tax and benefit system to boost consumption and expenditure is also likely preferable in the scenario envisaged--assuming that the authorities are prepared to act via such channels.

The Importance of Elections for UK Economic Activity

Question 2: Do you agree that the outcome of the general election will have non-trivial consequences for aggregate economic activity (employment and GDP)?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
It is very difficult to know what the major parties are really planning by way of tax rises and government expenditure cuts. The lack of information is worrisome.

Question 1: Do you agree that the austerity policies of the coalition government have had a positive effect on aggregate economic activity (employment and GDP) in the UK?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
There is probably little real disagreement that fiscal retrenchment has been necessary: high government debt can leave economies vulnerable. The issue is whether austerity has been overly rapid and too damaging to public investment at a time when the UK government can borrow cheaply.

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