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

Voting history

Market Turbulence and Growth Prospects

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Question 1: Do you agree that economic growth prospects for the global economy have seriously deteriorated?

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Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
They have certainly deteriorated, and much of that represents the failure of economic policies in different countries since 2008. But the extent of the deterioration is not clear: the world is not going to end just yet.

Autumn Statement & Charter for Budgetary Responsibility

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Question 2: Do you agree that the Charter for Budgetary Responsibility is helpful in underpinning the credibility of fiscal policy?

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Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
At the end of the day the Charter will weaken credibility, because the strains it imposes on public expenditure (now becoming more and more visible) will make reneging on the Charter come to seem more and more likely (cf Argentina's currency board in the 2000s).

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Question 1: The Chancellor forecasts a cyclically adjusted fiscal surplus by 2017-18 and in cash terms by 2019-20. Do you agree that this planned path of fiscal consolidation is appropriate?

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Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
There is no economic justification for such consolidation. The Chancellor should either get himself some proper economic advisers and admit he has been wrong, or come clean about his political reasons.

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:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
A Chinese slowdown will certianly have adverse effects on UK growth - but the latter has plenty of its own problems, so the Chinese slowdown (or the eurozone crisis) cannot be used as an alibi for poor policy since 2010.

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Question 1:

Do you agree that the Chinese economy is likely (say more than 50% probability) to maintain in the medium term (say, for at least ten years) a rate of annual growth exceeding 6%.

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I think a growth rate of a bit less, say 4-5%, is more likely. China will still hgrow faster than western 'advance' economies, but surely the heady days of 9-10% growth are now over.

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