Michael Wickens's picture
Affiliation: 
Cardiff Business School & University of York
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

German current account surpluses

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Question 1: Do you agree that German current account surpluses are a threat to the Eurozone economy?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
I agree in one sense but Germany's current account balance is not the source of the problem. It is only a symptom. The main underlying problem is the single currency. Germany's current account surplus reflects its competitiveness, but due to the single currency it can't appreciate against the eurozone countries with chronic current account deficits. It is all reminiscent of the failures of the Bretton Woods system which of course eventually collapsed due to currencies becoming misaligned. A connected issue is that the German private sector has been running a surplus of about 8 per cent of GDP for a long while. The Netherlands surplus has been around 13 per cent! Other eurozone countries are much closer to balance. This is also a contributory cause of the current account imbalances in the eurozone.

Are academic economists ‘in touch’ with voters and politicians?

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Question 7: Voters did not know that there was near-unanimity among economists.

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Strongly disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident

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Question 6: Economists did not explain the reasons for this consensus in sufficiently clear language.

Do you agree this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident

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Question 5: Voters think that the preferences of economists do not align with their own preferences. (This includes the possibility that they thought that the predicted negative economic consequences would not affect them personally).

Do you agree this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident

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Question 3: Voters chose to leave the EU for non-economic reasons.

Do you agree that this was an important reason for a majority of UK voters going against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident

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