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

Voting history

Secular Stagnation

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.

Migration and the UK economy August 2014

Question 1: Do you agree that migration to the UK can be expected to be beneficial for the average income of current UK inhabitants in the upcoming decade?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident

Question 2: Do you agree that current government policies with respect to non-EU migration (including policies on students, skilled workers, and family migration) are effective in maximizing the gains to the economy from migration while minimizing any possible negative impact to specific groups?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident

UK House Prices and Macro-Prudential Policy July 2014

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Question 1: Do you agree it is time for more robust policy action to prevent a build-up of excessive housing-related risk?

 

 
Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Given the regional distribution of the increase in house prices, it is not obvious that there is an excessive housing related risk. In my opinion another dimension to consider is the build-up of private debt since an excessive increase in house prices coupled with high private debt, would make the private sector vulnerable to shocks like interest rate increase. In this sense preventing this build up could be important in an environment in which nominal interest rate could increase later in the year.

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Question 2: When housing-related risk is deemed excessive from the viewpoint of financial stability, do you agree that the correct response is to deploy macro-prudential tools, leaving interest rates focused on the needs of inflation and aggregate real activity?

 
Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
When there are two objectives (macroeconomic stabilization and financial stability), it is better to use different policy tools for different targets. Interest rate would be proper for macroeconomic stability while macro-prudential tools should address financial stability concerns. The problem is that we, as economist, know very little about the interaction of these policy tools and the extent to which macro-prudential regulations is effective. We still lack a framework to study and understand the interaction between macro and financial stability and the complementarities among different policy tools

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