John VanReenen's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Professor of economics
Director of Centre for Economic Performance

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:
See previous answers. The New Deal and active labour market policy reforms from the mid 1990s onwards have been particularly important in keeping those on benefits actively seeking jobs. See “Evaluating the Employment Impact of a mandatory job search assistance programme” (with Richard Blundell, Monica Costa Dias and Costas Meghir) Journal of the European Economics Association (2004) 2(4) 569-606. http://cep.lse.ac.uk/textonly/people/vanreenen/papers/0305.pdf and more recently “Can helping the sick hurt the able?” (with Nitika Bagaria and Barbara Petrongolo), CEP Discussion Paper 1347 http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1347.pdf for causal evidence.

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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:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The UK did relatively well compared to other countries in terms of employment rates during the Great Recession. It is highly likely that this was related to greater real wage flexibility which helped "price workers into jobs". I discuss this in “The UK Productivity and Jobs Puzzle: Does the Answer Lie in Wage Flexibility?” (with Joao Pessoa), Economic Journal (2014). See http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/special/cepsp31.pdf. The magnitude of the shock and weak recovery was magnified by poor policy choices such as weak financial regulation pre-recession and premature austerity post recession But as the recovery continued we would expect to see more robust growth which has not happened. This suggests there are ongoing structural problems of low productivity. See http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/growthCommission/documents/pdf/LSEGC-Report.pdf for a policy related discussion

Happiness and well-being as objectives of macro policy

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Question 2: Do you agree that quantitative well-being analysis should play an important role in guiding policy makers in determining macroeconomic policies?

 
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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident at all

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Question 1: Do you agree that subjective well-being measures, or at least some of the subindices from the typical survey measures, are now reliable enough to give useful insights when used in macroeconomic empirical analysis?

 
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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident

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:
Not confident
Comment:
The UK needs to continue decentralize more power to city-regions. See our report https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/reports/unleashing-metro-growth-final-recommendations

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