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

Voting history

The future role of (un)conventional unconventional monetary policy

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Question 2:  Do you agree that central banks should operationalise the use of these alternative tools of unconventional monetary policy for use either in the near term, or in the future, as economic conditions warrant?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
It is not clear to me that achieving central banks' objectives will become more manageable with these quite revolutionary instruments. In fact, steering a ship in a storm may become more difficult when the captain has many controls and it becomes more difficult for the ship's sailors and other ships to understand what is going to happen.

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Question 1: Do you agree that central banks should continue to use the unconventional tools of monetary policy deployed in response to the global financial crisis as part of monetary policy under normal economic conditions?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I can imagine that there are situations under which it would make sense to use unconventional monetary policy under "normal" circumstances. For example, if the yield curve is quite steep and forward rates are inconsistent with the central bank's expectations. But there is a lot of value in monetary policy being transparent and predictable and this is easier if monetary policy is not too complicated.

National Living Wage and the UK economy

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Question 2: Do you agree that the new NLW will have a muted effect on wages and prices?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The increase in the NLW will surely have some effect on average wages and prices. It is unlikely to be strong. If the UK economy grows rapidly, then the increase in the NLW is unlikely to matter very much for anything except low-wage workers. If the UK economy does not grow rapidly, then the increase in the NLW could have an impact on employment, but inflationary pressure is unlikely is such an environment.

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Question 1: Do you agree that the new National Living Wage is likely to lead to significantly lower employment?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The impact of an increase in the NLW is likely to depend on how the UK economy develops. If economic growth accelerates, then the increase in the NLW is unlikely to matter. On the other hand, if economic growth slows down, then an increase in the NLW could very well have a negative impact. The empirical evidence suggests, however, that the aggregate impact is likely to be small.

Brexit and financial market volatility

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Question 2: Do you agree that the possibility of Brexit significantly increases uncertainty and volatility in financial markets and the economy in general?

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Answer:
Strongly Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
Brexit will affect the European and UK economy in many different dimensions. So there is no reason to believe that volatility will be restricted to exchange rates.

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