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

Voting history

National Living Wage and the UK economy

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Question 2: Do you agree that the new NLW will have a muted effect on wages and prices?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident

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Question 1: Do you agree that the new National Living Wage is likely to lead to significantly lower employment?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The social care sector is a substantial employer. It is already subject to considerable financial pressure due to the effects of austerity budgets on local authority funding. There is little room for productivity improvement in this sector, or for firms to cut profits. I would not be surprised if there were significant job losses in this sector. I am less convinced about the employment effects elsewhere in the economy.

Brexit and financial market volatility

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Question 2: Do you agree that the possibility of Brexit significantly increases uncertainty and volatility in financial markets and the economy in general?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The probability of the UK exiting the EU is significant. There can be no certainty around the U.K.'s trading arrangements should exit occur. There has therefore been a ramping up of uncertainty across those markets that are directly or indirectly exposed to trade, leading to a more general increase in volatility.

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Question 1: The value of the pound fell sharply this week. Do you agree that the public debate on Brexit can be expected to (continue to) lead to a substantially higher level of exchange rate volatility in the upcoming months?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Uncertainty associated with the outcome of BREXIT will increase volatility. This will be particularly marked if the opinion polls are relatively close. Margins on forward contracts will increase.

China’s growth slowdown: likely persistence and effects

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Question 2:

Do you agree that if the Chinese slowdown turns out to be persistent, it will have a significant impact on UK growth (say, in the order of a few tenths of a percentage point) and/or it will justify a material change in monetary policy (for example, in terms of the timing and speed of a return to ‘normal’ interest rates) and fiscal policy (for example, in terms of the timing and speed of fiscal contraction).

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
Direct effects limited due to relatively small UK exports to China, General excess supply and consequent global slowdown will have a more pervasive effect on UK economy, making it more difficult to correct imbalances (trade, budget) in UK economy.

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