Sylvester Eijffinger's picture
Affiliation: 
CentER, Tilburg University
Credentials: 
Professor of Financial Economics
President of Tilburg University Society

Voting history

Wages and economic recoveries

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Question 2: Do you agree that the different behaviour of UK real wages relative to Eurozone wages during the Great Recession is in large part due to the UK having different labour market policies?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The different behaviour of UK real wages relative to Eurozone wages is indeed in large part due to the UK having different labour makets policies, particularly by its more flexible labour markets. Labour markets in France and Germany are less flexible resulting in more unemployment there. The election of Macron may have big consequences for the flexibility of French labour markets.

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Question 1: Do you agree that lower real wage growth was beneficial for employment levels during the Great Recession?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Lower real wage growth might be beneficial for economic growth and employment in the short to medium term but can be detrimental for economic growth and employment in the (very) long term because it hampers innovation that is necessary for increasing efficiency and productivity growth.

Happiness and well-being as objectives of macro policy

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Question 2: Do you agree that quantitative well-being analysis should play an important role in guiding policy makers in determining macroeconomic policies?

 
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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
More empirical research should be done on the correlation between more subjective self-reported measures of happiness and well-being and more objective and scientific measures, such as those derived from CT brain scans.

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Question 1: Do you agree that subjective well-being measures, or at least some of the subindices from the typical survey measures, are now reliable enough to give useful insights when used in macroeconomic empirical analysis?

 
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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Subjective well-being measures are interesting (sub)indices for happiness and well-being but are not mature and reliable enough as objectives for macroeconomic empirical analysis and policies.

The Future of Central Bank Independence

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Question 3: More generally, do you agree that it is desirable to maintain central bank independence? Again focus on the near future, say next 48 months.

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The main threat to central bank independence is also associated with the set of unconventional monetary policies employed during the crisis and the large redistributive effects between savers in the North and borrowers in the South of the Eurozone thereby undermining both the credibility and independence of the ECB and the structural reforms needed in the South of the Eurozone.

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