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

Voting history

2014 Autumn Statement

Question 1: Do you agree that the scale of this planned reduction in total managed expenditure is credible?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
But the danger is that Osborne may nevertheless try to achieve it. As a political strategy, sharp cuts in the first 2 or 3 years of an administration, followed by easing off before the election, will have appeared to work if he is still in charge.

Secular Stagnation

Question 2: Do you think that current structural and fiscal policies should place a considerably greater emphasis on pushing the natural rate into positive territory?

Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
An unusual degree of fiscal contraction has caused a slow recovery in the US, a delayed recovery in the UK, and a second recession in the Eurozone. This is all unnecessary and damaging, and so should be reversed, whether we have secular stagnation or not.

Question 1: Do you agree- making your own definition of secular stagnation clear if you disagree with that offered here- that it is more likely than not that the advanced Western economies have entered into a period of secular stagnation?

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The empirical evidence that there has been a fall in the 'natural' real interest rate since the 1980s is pretty clear. Whether it has fallen to some negative number is much less clear. Our current problems with nominal rates staying at the zero lower bound may reflect a small but positive natural real rate coupled with a degree of fiscal contraction that is quite unusual during the recovery stage of a recession. I've also found the theoretical explanations so far offered unconvincing.

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:
Targets based on NET migration make no sense. Including students makes no sense, and harms the economy. The policy seems to be to make getting visas as difficult as possible, which in cases I know can cause a lot of individual distress, as well as forcing needless red tape on individuals and businesses.

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:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident

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