David Miles's picture
Affiliation: 
Imperial College
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

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

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Question 2: What do you think is the most likely reason that a majority of UK voters went against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
A. Non-economic reasons more important
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
For many people issues of sovereignty seemed the key ones. Obviously that is not inconsistent with recognising that there were likely to be some economic costs from Brexit.

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Question 1: Do you agree that the economics profession needs an institutional change that promotes the ability to communicate more effectively with policy-makers and the public at large and to make clear when economists have a united view; and do you agree that we need to introduce leadership to help achieve this improvement through coordinated efforts?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I do not see how one establishes when it is clear that "economists have a united view". It is not obvious that on Brexit such a clear view exists. It is not clear, for example, that an economist who believes that the long run cost of Brexit is a few percentage points of GDP and another who thinks it is around 10% of GDP have a united view at all.

Brexit: the potential of a financial catastrophe and long-term consequences for the UK financial sector

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Question 3: What do you think will be the overall economic consequences of Brexit for the UK?

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Answer:
Neutral
Confidence level:
Confident

The future role of (un)conventional unconventional monetary policy

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Question 1: Do you agree that central banks should continue to use the unconventional tools of monetary policy deployed in response to the global financial crisis as part of monetary policy under normal economic conditions?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I think in ordinary circumstances using variations in the policy rate (Bank Rate in the UK) is by far the most effective tool of monetary policy; buying and selling government bonds when financial markets are operating normally is not likely to have a very significant affect. (In those circumstances the conditions that Eggertson and Woodford assumed in a Brookings Paper of several years ago come close to being satisfied and mean that QE is then a weak tool).

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Question 2:  Do you agree that central banks should operationalise the use of these alternative tools of unconventional monetary policy for use either in the near term, or in the future, as economic conditions warrant?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
If the question is asking about helicopter drops I do not agree that they are likely to be a useful tool. "Printing money” under helicopter drops really means financing purchases of government bonds by creating reserves, which may well be interest bearing. Distributing newly printed bank notes in exchange for government debt would, in fact, almost immediately be turned back into reserves. If reserves pay interest - as they do now and as I think they should - then "printing money" is just financing government spending by the government borrowing at Bank Rate, something it can do anyway by issuing Treasury Bills.

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