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

Voting history

The Importance of Elections for UK Economic Activity

Question 2: Do you agree that the outcome of the general election will have non-trivial consequences for aggregate economic activity (employment and GDP)?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The election could drastically alter macroeconomic policy in the UK, and for the worse. Given the closeness of the likely outcome of the election, the Labour Party's denial of their role in ruining the public finances prior to 2010, their continued focus on increasing public expenditures and the likelihood of needing a working arrangement with the even more spendthrift SNP, the prospects for the UK are very precarious - almost on a knife-edge.

Question 1: Do you agree that the austerity policies of the coalition government have had a positive effect on aggregate economic activity (employment and GDP) in the UK?

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The short-run aim of the coalition was not to stimulate economic activity but to repair public finances and thereby create the conditions for higher economic growth in the longer term. They have been moderately successful in their short-term aim and are starting to achieve their longer-term aim.

Transparency and the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy following the Warsh Review at the Bank of England

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Question 2: Do you agree that the Bank's proposal to release the policy decision, MPC minutes and (once a quarter) the Inflation Report all at the same time justifies a change in the structure of MPC meetings from two consecutive days to a process in which in the MPC meetings are spread out over seven days?
 
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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
I don't see any connection between the decision to release information at an earlier date and the frequency of meetings. Given the inactivity of the MPC over the last few years, having fewer meetings makes sense. If a crisis arose in the gap between meetings that requires the MPC to meet then I hope that the new timetable would not prevent such a meeting taking place.
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Question 1: Do you agree that the simultaneous release of the policy decision, the enhanced minutes (including the voting record) of the MPC meeting and (in the relevant months) the release of the Inflation Report will facilitate inference on the likely stance of monetary policy?
 
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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The earlier publication of MPC decisions is clearly advantageous. It is also helpful to know about the reasons for the decision and about the issues discussed. There is, however, still much merit in retaining anonymity on who said what. This is in order not to inhibit discussion on the MPC and to allow members "to change their minds if the facts change" without fear of public opprobrium..

Greece’s elections and the future of the Eurozone

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Question 2: Do you agree that refusal of the core EU countries to a renegotiation of the Greek bailout agreements would carry serious risks for the economic well-being of the Eurozone?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Germany clearly thinks that the economic well-being of the eurozone is in allowing countries to continue to run large fiscal deficits. This must be correct in the long term. In the short term the danger has been that holders of Greek debt would suffer large losses. This has changed as there has been sufficient time for holders of Greek debt to rebalance portfolios should they have wished to do so. Consequently, Greece can be allowed by the eurozone to do what is best for Greece.

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