David Cobham's picture
Affiliation: 
Heriot Watt University
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

The Eurozone COVID-19 Crisis: EU Policy Options

Question 2: What is the best mechanism to pay for economic support provided by and to EU member states to combat the COVID-19 crisis?

Answer:
Joint borrowing by member states (e.g. Coronabonds)
Confidence level:
Very confident

Question 1: What is the total size of funding that you would advocate at the EU level in support of its members to weather the COVID-19 crisis this year?

 

 

Answer:
10-20% of GDP
Confidence level:
Confident

Covid-19: Economic Policy Response

Question 3: Which would be the maximal public debt you would be willing to tolerate if used effectively (as in your answers to 1 and 2 above) to support an economic recovery?

Answer:
120% of GDP (e.g. if fiscal support were doubled)
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
There needs to be room for further fiscal expansion if required, but a limit of 120% would help to ensure the possibility of an eventual return to normal levels (a return not to be hurried for the wrong reasons as it was after 2008).

Question 2: Which of the following would have the second greatest impact in mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus economic crisis in the UK?

Answer:
Making unemployment benefits more generous, streamlined, or comprehensive
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
This provides the key safety net when, or for whom, the other measures mentioned above fail.

Question 1: Which of the following would have the greatest impact in mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus economic crisis?

Answer:
None of the above, other, or no opinion
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The policy measure announced by the UK government since this survey was put together - paying 80% of employees' wages up to the limit of £2500 per month - looks right to me. It could be subsumed under 'broad cash transfers' but it seems better to enter it as a separate item. It needs to be supplemented now by some comparable scheme to help the self-employed (whose activities have been so much encouraged - directly and indirectly - by government policies in the last decade in particular).

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