David Bell's picture
Affiliation: 
University of Stirling
Credentials: 
Professor of Economics

Voting history

A “new” UK industrial strategy ?

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Question 1: Do you agree that the UK needs a new industrial policy?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Any new policy should avoid focusing on individual companies. There may be value in investment in skills, infrastructure and information flows aimed at improving the competitiveness of domestic value chains. I guess this fits into the Rodrik view of the determinants of growth.

The Future of Central Bank Independence

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Question 3: More generally, do you agree that it is desirable to maintain central bank independence? Again focus on the near future, say next 48 months.

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
If we extrapolate from recent events and argue that politicians will pay less attention to evidence in forming future economic policy, then having an important part of the institutional framework remaining technocratic is likely to be welfare enhancing.

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Question 2: Do you agree that the traditional argument that less central bank independence leads to higher inflation will (still) be relevant over the next 48 months in Western economies?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I don't expect it to be relevant because I do not expect a rapid rise in inflation, even if central-bank independence is eroded somewhat. The reason that I do not expect a significant rise in inflation over the next four years is because the output gap has been consistently and significantly underestimated in most of the world's largest economies.

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Question 1: Do you agree that central bank independence in the Eurozone and the UK will decline over the next 48 months?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Independence of the central bank is not the most pressing of the UK Government's problems. It cannot risk another major threat to its credibility during the period it is negotiating Brexit: the markets would exact a high price. Threats to the independence of the ECB will founder on the traditional inability of the EU states to agree on such a contentious step.

German Council of Economic Experts' view of ECB policy

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Question 2: Do you agree that the ECB's monetary policy masks structural problems of member states?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Solving these problems is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for European economic recovery

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