Wouter Den Haan's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Migration and the UK economy August 2014

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:
Confident
Comment:
Being an immigrant myself I may be biased. But living in London I see the key role that immigrants play in all kinds of different sectors. So my own experience back up what serious research has found.

UK House Prices and Macro-Prudential Policy July 2014

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Question 2: When housing-related risk is deemed excessive from the viewpoint of financial stability, do you agree that the correct response is to deploy macro-prudential tools, leaving interest rates focused on the needs of inflation and aggregate real activity?

 
Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The effect of particular macro-prudential policies is very uncertain. We have neither solid models nor empirical studies to guide us. As long as the recovery is far from certain, it would make sense not to use bank rate increases, but to adopt macro-prudential policies such as those proposed by the Financial Policy Committee at its June meeting. But it may very well be that these are not effective and the Bank of England may have to seriously figure out how to use one instrument (bank rate) to ensure both financial stability and the continuation of the recovery.

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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:
The increase in UK house prices is troublesome and a nontrivial risk factor given that the recovery of the UK economy has only just started and its continuation is far from certain.

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:
I don't think see substantial negative consequences if Scotland would be part of a monetary union with the continuing UK. The main reason is that Scotland is so small. One risk factor is that the continuing UK could be more sensitive to problems in the Scottish financial sector with a monetary union. But you don't need a monetary union to be exposed to another country's financial sector. Moreover, within a monetary union it may actually be easier for the continuing UK to make sure that Scottish banks are properly regulated.

Question 1

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

Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I don't see how economic conditions in Scotland would improve with independence other than that Scotland would possibly get a larger share of oil revenues. In contrast, I definitely see some downside risk factors. First of all, there would quite a bit of uncertainty regarding institutions, redistribution, business climate, and the political landscape. This will harm economic growth at least in the short run. As a small independent country it may be more affected by negative events such as industries leaving the country.

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