David Smith's picture
Affiliation: 
Sunday Times
Credentials: 
Economics editor

Voting history

Wages and economic recoveries

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Question 2: Do you agree that the different behaviour of UK real wages relative to Eurozone wages during the Great Recession is in large part due to the UK having different labour market policies?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The different behaviour of UK wages during and after the Great Recession partly reflects past policy, and the increased flexibility of the UK labour market. But wage behaviour was weaker than expected even in the light of those past policies. It may be that people were shocked into a change in wage behaviour but something fundamental changed, for reasons that are not entirely clear.

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Question 1: Do you agree that lower real wage growth was beneficial for employment levels during the Great Recession?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
In the UK in particular, lower real wage growth during and immediately after the Great Recession helped prevent a much worse outcome in terms of unemployment.

A “new” UK industrial strategy ?

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Question 2: Do you agree that the UK needs a new regional policy?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The UK has a history of regional policy failures, so a degree of scepticism is appropriate. Enterprise zones have a role to play but will not create the kind of shift in regional economic power the government has in mind. Reversing decades of relative decline for some of Britain's regions will itself take decades.

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Question 1: Do you agree that the UK needs a new industrial policy?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
That an industrial strategy is needed to build on the current, piecemeal, sector-buy-sector approach, should not be in doubt. These days an industrial strategy has to mean the service sector as well as industry. It also has to be more than a set of aims and ambitions.

The Future of Central Bank Independence

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Question 2: Do you agree that the traditional argument that less central bank independence leads to higher inflation will (still) be relevant over the next 48 months in Western economies?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Rising inflation is in prospect and the fear will be that central banks are more constrained in their ability to control it than in the past.

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