David Cobham's picture
Affiliation: 
Heriot Watt University
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Euro Area Deflation and Risk for UK Economy May 2014

Question 2

Do you agree that a deflation in the Euro area (as defined in Question 1) would pose a considerable risk to the UK recovery?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident

Question 1

Do you agree that there is a significant risk of a sustained deflation across the Euro Area in the coming two years?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident

Prospects for Economic Growth in the UK April 2014

Question 2

Do you agree that, in the wake of the financial crisis, any downward adjustment to the expected average annual long-term growth rate of the UK economy is likely to be by less than 0.25 percentage points?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Advanced economies such as the UK's have highly persistent growth rates. Politicians usually turn out to be mistaken when they think they have introduced radical reforms such that the economy can and will now grow faster, and there is no obvious reason to think that growth rates are less inertial on the downside.

Question 1

The long period of slow or negative growth might imply that there is a substantial output gap in the UK economy.  Do you agree that there is currently a larger output gap than the OBR estimate to the extent that the shortfall in output relative to capacity is 3% or greater?  

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
A note of caution is that this greater than 3% output gap could not be closed overnight, but it is still a shortish term matter rather than a medium or long term one.

Responsible long-term fiscal policy (pilot survey)

First question:

To help ensure that advanced country governments have sufficient flexibility to respond to future crises, it is important that finance ministries aim for a ratio of public debt to GDP that is substantially less than 60% in normal times.

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
My view is that a ratio of around 40% (gross) would be an appropriate target, but it is important to say that this should be attained gradually over a period of 'normal times', and the target should not be used as an excuse for more austerity now.

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