Ethan Ilzetzki's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics

Voting history

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:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
I can see some rationale for regional policy, but again am not sure this is helpful in practice. If the UK government were truly serious about regional policy it would devolve more fiscal control and power to local authorities that are more likely to have a good sense of how to help local enterprise. The competition between local governments can also be beneficial in spuring local development. A central government favoring specific localities is more likely to do so at the expense of others.

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

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Answer:
Strongly disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
While there are conditions under which an industrial strategy is useful in theory, it is rare for industrial strategy to be useful in practice, particularly in high income economies. It is nearly impossible for the government to do this without picking winners and losers. In an advanced and dynamic economy like the UK, the government has no particular advantage in forecasting the industries of the future. This should be left to the free market and to private enterprise. The government should rather focus on providing the physical and regulartory infrastructure that entrepreneurs require.

German Council of Economic Experts' view of ECB policy

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Question 2: Do you agree that the ECB's monetary policy masks structural problems of member states?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I think there are structural problems and ECB policy may on the margin be enabling governments to postpone reform, but I disagree with the characterization that the ECB is masking these structural problems.

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Question 1: Do you agree that exceptionally loose monetary policy by the European Central Bank is no longer appropriate?

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Answer:
Strongly disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Eurozone inflation is 0.5%. The ECB's target is 2%. Case closed.

German current account surpluses

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Question 2: Do you agree that the German government should increase public spending given its persistently large current account surplus and given that it is part of the Eurozone?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
There is a domestic reason why Germany might want to increase public spending, growth is at merely 0.1%. Our knowledge of the spillover effects of fiscal policy are still limited enough that I would be wary of advocating a fiscal stimulus for this purpose alone. Public spending is indeed largely on non-tradables, so that spillovers are likely to come from indirect forces. The most likely channel is through an appreciation of the German real exchange rate. And if the objective is a German revaluation, other policies are available and more direct. This include wage policy and tax policy.

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