Richard Portes's picture
Affiliation: 
London Business School and CEPR

Voting history

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:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Policies are deterring and restricting non-EU students and high-skill potential immigrants, also making it more difficult for students to work in the UK after taking their degrees.

Question 1: Do you agree that migration to the UK can be expected to be beneficial for the average income of current UK inhabitants in the upcoming decade?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Properly regulated immigration increases flexibility of UK labour market. Specific labour shortages are alleviated, and it is possible to run the economy at a higher level of demand without wage inflation. That was a key to UK growth in the decade leading up to the crisis.

Economic Consequences of an Independent Scotland June 2014

Question 2

Assuming that Scotland becomes an independent country, do you agree that the UK government's position of ruling out a monetary union is in the economic interests of the continuing UK? 

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
We have enough problems with our 'one-size-fits-all' monetary policy. Scotland currently contributes to the regional heterogeneity with which the MPC and FPC struggle. From this narrow viewpoint, the rest of the UK would find it easier to set monetary and financial policy without Scotland.

Question 1

Do you agree that that Scotland would better off in economic terms as an independent country?

Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Scotland would lose substantial net transfers from the rest of the UK. It could use the pound sterling as its currency, but there would be no monetary union, hence no influence over its own monetary policy and exchange rate. Conversely, recent research suggests that the shock-absorbing benefit of floating exchange rates for a small open economy have been exaggerated, in the face of the 'global financial cycle'. It might succeed in (re-)joining the EU, but that is by no means certain, and the EEA, with again no influence over its own policies in many domains (having to accept Single Market legislation), is decidedly second-best. The Edinburgh-based financial institutions would suffer, and some might move. And so on.

Euro Area Deflation and Risk for UK Economy May 2014

Question 2

Do you agree that a deflation in the Euro area (as defined in Question 1) would pose a considerable risk to the UK recovery?

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The main short-term effect would be through financial markets and confidence rather than through trade. But if deflation took hold in the euro area as it did in Japan, then there would be a longer-term effect through trade. Neither would in itself take the UK into recession, but either could reduce growth significantly.

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