Simon Wren-Lewis's picture
Affiliation: 
University of Oxford
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

UK House Prices and Macro-Prudential Policy July 2014

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Question 1: Do you agree it is time for more robust policy action to prevent a build-up of excessive housing-related risk?

 

 
Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
With essentially fixed supply, but an absence of sharp increases in rents, it may be possible to explain much of the recent increase in prices as a consequence of expectations that real interest rates will remain low for some time. However, there is also evidence that sustained increases in asset prices often have some 'froth on top', caused by unrealistic expectations. So on balance some restraint would be prudent. The argument that 'it is only London' seems weak. In the past, house price cycles have always started in London.

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:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The UK government could set terms which would mean MU was of little risk to the continuing UK, although they might be a problem for Scotland.

Question 1

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

Answer:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
My only caveat is if the UK left the EU, in which case an independent Scotland that was an EU member could be better off.

Euro Area Deflation and Risk for UK Economy May 2014

Question 1

Do you agree that there is a significant risk of a sustained deflation across the Euro Area in the coming two years?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Although I would not put the risk of deflation that high, this is irrelevant to policy in the Eurozone. Inflation at -0.1 is only slightly worse than inflation of +0.1% - there is nothing magic about negative inflation. What is clear is that inflation is too low in the Eurozone, and that recovery is too weak, so both monetary and fiscal policy need to change.

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:
Weak growth in the Eurozone is not helpful to anyone. However I doubt that weak Eurozone growth would be enough on its own to halt the UK recovery.

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