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

Voting history

The Future of Central Bank Independence

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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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Question 1: Do you agree that exceptionally loose monetary policy by the European Central Bank is no longer appropriate?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The belief that simultaneously tightening monetary and fiscal policy and relying on structural reform to revive the European economy without any consideration of the weakness of demand seems to reflect a triumph of hope over experience.

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

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Question 7: Voters did not know that there was near-unanimity among economists.

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Attempts to convey the unanimity message seemed to have little resonance with the media, partly because some outlets (mostly print) didn't want to convey this, while other were bound to convey the "on the one hand, on the other" form of argument.

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