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

Voting history

Monetary policy and the zero lower bound (ZLB)

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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:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
My response reflects my risk aversion and uncertainty as to how the public would respond to these relatively unconventional policy measures

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:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Which party is making the right judgement call on the speed of deficit reduction? A prori, a difficult call but one that is likely to have significant effects on overall economic activity.

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:
Not confident
Comment:
Really difficult period to assess. The austerity programme itself varied in intensity and employment has done spectacularly well given that the downturn in output exceeded all recorded previous instances.

Transparency and the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy following the Warsh Review at the Bank of England

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Question 2: Do you agree that the Bank's proposal to release the policy decision, MPC minutes and (once a quarter) the Inflation Report all at the same time justifies a change in the structure of MPC meetings from two consecutive days to a process in which in the MPC meetings are spread out over seven days?
 
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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
This proposal cannot be seen as distinct from the decision to reduce the number of meetings from 12 to 8 per annum. It has never been clear to me why one needs, in normal circumstances, to have a high-frequency instrument to affect an outcome 18 months to two years ahead. I therefore agree with the proposal as part of the overall package. However, I would also urge caution if the new, more extended, structure of meetings might have an adverse impact on recruitment to the MPC.

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