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

Voting history

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

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Question 2: What do you think is the most likely reason that a majority of UK voters went against the near unanimous advice of the economics profession?

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Answer:
A. Non-economic reasons more important
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Contrary to what many economists might like to think the referendum was not decided on economic grounds. Most Leave voters seemed to have decided largely on political, not economic, grounds. They understood that there would be an economic cost in the short run but thought that the political benefits were more important, especially in the long run. Where Leave voters took account of economic factors, they were probably voting against the effects of globalisation, especially those in the north of England. For example, Sunderland voted leave even though it was not obviously in their interest.

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Question 1: Do you agree that the economics profession needs an institutional change that promotes the ability to communicate more effectively with policy-makers and the public at large and to make clear when economists have a united view; and do you agree that we need to introduce leadership to help achieve this improvement through coordinated efforts?

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Answer:
Strongly disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Economists don’t agree. This is clearly illustrated in the replies to the CFM surveys. Institutionalising the view of the majority would harm the search for the right answer and make the economics profession look ridiculous. Economists should rely on the accuracy of their analysis not on authority or leadership. The UK is not the EU Commission. I prefer an “open society” where we can learn from our mistakes through criticism and considering a plurality of views. This would also best serve the public.

Brexit: the potential of a financial catastrophe and long-term consequences for the UK financial sector

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Question 2: What is the probability that the UK experiences such a significant disruption to financial markets and asset prices following a vote for Brexit on 23 June?

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Answer:
≈ 0%
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Like most of the predicted economic gloom this too is an exaggeration. More significantly, the point of Brexit is the long-term, largely non-economic benefits, not short-term costs.

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Question 1: Do you agree that there would be substantial negative long-term consequences for the UK financial sector if the UK were to leave the EU?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The fears expressed in the question are greatly exaggerated. The UK's financial sector has a global financial reach. This would not be affected. It would maintain's the UK's access to finance and expertise that the EU could not surplant.

The future role of (un)conventional unconventional monetary policy

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Question 2:  Do you agree that central banks should operationalise the use of these alternative tools of unconventional monetary policy for use either in the near term, or in the future, as economic conditions warrant?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Given their ineffectiveness, there is no good case to use UMP at any time.

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