Gianluca Benigno's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Associate Professor in Economics

Voting history

Greece’s elections and the future of the Eurozone

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Question 1: Do you agree that a Syriza victory on 25 January would lead to a significant or sustained escalation in spreads for other peripheral Eurozone countries?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
There might be contagion coming from the outcome of the Greek election but one aspect to keep into account is what the European Central Bank will do at the meeting of the 22nd of January just before the outcome of the election. An aggressive QE program could limit the escalation in spreads.

2014 Autumn Statement

Question 1: Do you agree that the scale of this planned reduction in total managed expenditure is credible?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

 

Question 2: Do you agree that the underperformance of tax receipts in recent years, provides a strong case for higher taxes?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
low growth in real income is a symptom of a fragile recovery and an increase in taxes could undermine the recovery

Secular Stagnation

Question 2: Do you think that current structural and fiscal policies should place a considerably greater emphasis on pushing the natural rate into positive territory?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Based on my comments in the previous question prompt policy intervention is important to avoid a cyclical downturn to become permanent. Fiscal stimulus that might take different forms at national levels financed via monetary expansion could be needed

Question 1: Do you agree- making your own definition of secular stagnation clear if you disagree with that offered here- that it is more likely than not that the advanced Western economies have entered into a period of secular stagnation?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
In my opinion one of the other features of secular stagnation is low productivity growth that also lead to sluggish economic growth. This is also related to the idea that cyclical stagnation, a large negative output gap, can reduce the level of potential output if it is persistent through a reduction in business and capital investment. So even when the output closes, potential and actual output would be lower than the level that they would have been if the initial output gap would have been closed promptly. Since measuring potential growth is not an easy task, it is hard to assess the extent to which secular stagnation is present. Current measure of slack in the economy (like the unemployment rate) would suggest that the euro area and Japan are experiencing or have been experiencing secular stagnation. For the US economy and the UK economy it is harder to tell as (a non fast) recovery is under way with mixed symptoms in terms of what could be interpreted as a period of stagnation.

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