Martin Ellison's picture
Affiliation: 
University of Oxford
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Devolving Income Tax Powers within the UK

Question 2: Do you agree that that there is a clear economic case for establishing "English votes for English laws" with the same tax and spending powers as the Scottish Parliament?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
With 84% of the UK population residing in England, the efficiency loss of non-English input to English laws should be low. In many cases the interests of constituent parts of the UK are closely aligned, so what is good for England is often synonymous with what is good for the rest of the UK. It is questionable whether any efficiency loss could be sufficient to dwarf the non-negligible costs of setting up new legislative arrangements.

Question 1: Do you agree that the economic benefits of devolving full income tax powers to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly outweigh the possible costs?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Whilst there are benefits to bringing decision making closer to the regional electorate, there is a danger of generating a populist "race to the bottom" as different regions compete to offer the biggest tax breaks, e.g. to businesses thinking about location. In the short term there may also be concerns about the strength of regional institutions and their ability to deliver good quality governance.

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

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

Migration and the UK economy August 2014

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:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I do not have great confidence in the government being able to identify which immigrants would be most beneficial to the UK economy. Past experience with governments attempting to pick “champion” industries to support through subsidies and tax breaks has been disappointing, and there is little reason to believe that the government would be any better picking “champion” people to allow into the UK either. Another problem is the bureaucratic burden behind a selective system. Current policy with regard to entry visas for non-EU students is a good example, with many of our best universities reporting problems obtaining visas for very bright students.

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