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

Voting history

Market Turbulence and Growth Prospects

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Question 1: Do you agree that economic growth prospects for the global economy have seriously deteriorated?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The downside risk has increased, for example, because of the refugee crisis, Brexit, the US presidential elections, and lower than expected growth. But the stock market response may be a bit of an overreaction.

Autumn Statement & Charter for Budgetary Responsibility

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Question 2: Do you agree that the Charter for Budgetary Responsibility is helpful in underpinning the credibility of fiscal policy?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The principle of the Charter is a good one. Although there will be some ambiguity in implementing it, it will still impose some discipline on behaving responsible during good times.

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Question 1: The Chancellor forecasts a cyclically adjusted fiscal surplus by 2017-18 and in cash terms by 2019-20. Do you agree that this planned path of fiscal consolidation is appropriate?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The UK economy is doing well, but there are downside risks (Brexit, Eurozone trouble, refugee crisis). Fiscal consolidation now will put the UK in a better position to act if the need arises.

China’s growth slowdown: likely persistence and effects

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Question 2:

Do you agree that if the Chinese slowdown turns out to be persistent, it will have a significant impact on UK growth (say, in the order of a few tenths of a percentage point) and/or it will justify a material change in monetary policy (for example, in terms of the timing and speed of a return to ‘normal’ interest rates) and fiscal policy (for example, in terms of the timing and speed of fiscal contraction).

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The direct effect of a slowdown in the Chinese economic growth on the UK economy has to be small. But the Chinese economy is important for the global economy (e.g. the share of Chinese imports in global imports is close to 10%). Thus, the Chinese economy is likely to have an impact somewhere and it also may negatively affect confidence. So there may be a chain of events such that there will be a non-trivial effect on the UK economy even though the direct effect is probably small.

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Question 1:

Do you agree that the Chinese economy is likely (say more than 50% probability) to maintain in the medium term (say, for at least ten years) a rate of annual growth exceeding 6%.

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
There seems to be consensus that there has been and will be a reduction in China's potential growth prospects. The World Bank and the IMF project that China's growth could slow down to numbers around 6%. I think that these forecasts do not sufficiently take into account that the downward risk is larger than the upward potential, so I am inclined to be a bit more pessimistic myself. Regarding downward risk, I am thinking of consequences of secular stagnation in developed economies or continued problems in the Eurozone.

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