The Importance of Elections for UK Economic Activity


In the week before the dissolution of Parliament, the Centre for Macroeconomics asked its panel of experts about the effects of governments on aggregate economic activity.

The great majority of respondents disagree with the proposition that the coalition government’s austerity policies have had a positive effect on aggregate economic activity. And an overwhelming majority of respondents agree that the outcome of the general election (assuming a stable government is formed) will have non-trivial consequences for economic activity.

2014 Autumn Statement


In the wake of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday, the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) has conducted its monthly survey of leading UK-based macroeconomists.

The responses indicate overwhelming disagreement with the view that the scale of the planned reduction in total managed government expenditure is realistic. They also indicate disagreement with the view that observed shortfalls in tax receipts make a strong case for higher tax rates.

Devolving Income Tax Powers within the UK


This month's survey looks at the devolution of extensive new fiscal powers to Scotland following the independence referendum in September, which showed a majority of Scots preferred Scotland to be within the UK. The Smith Commission is overseeing the process of finding an agreement to 'strengthen the powers of the Scottish Parliament within the UK' (emphasis added). We therefore asked our respondents to answer our questions from the perspective of the whole UK, rather than from one constituent nation or another.

Secular Stagnation


This month’s questions concern the revival of interest in the idea of secular stagnation. The survey was conducted in the last week of September. A full list of written responses from our panel of experts can be found here. Only 24% (27% if we weigh by confidence) of respondents think that the Western economies have entered a period of secular stagnation. Indeed, several panel members question whether secular stagnation is a useful and well-defined concept and this may explain the lack of strong views on either side.