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

Voting history

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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Question 2: Do you agree that the traditional argument that less central bank independence leads to higher inflation will (still) be relevant over the next 48 months in Western economies?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
Unconventional monetary policies have redistributive effects between the borrowers and savers (both private and public) while the arguments for central bank independence are based on the neutrality of monetary policy over the business cycle and the lack of large redistributive effects. The traditional arguments that less central bank independence leads to higher inflation assuming linearity and symmetry may be blurred by the unconventional monetary policies of central banks.

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Question 1: Do you agree that central bank independence in the Eurozone and the UK will decline over the next 48 months?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
The unprecedented size of the central bank balance sheets in the Eurozone and the UK has far reaching implications for the financial dimension of central bank independence by the monetary financing of government debt undermining the credibility and independence of the central banks. The threat of fiscal dominance with monetary accommodation is particularly strong in developed countries (Eurozone and the UK) with high public debt levels (see: De Haan and Eijffinger, 2016).

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