Ethan Ilzetzki's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics

Voting history

Lockdowns and UK Economic Performance

Question 1: How much of the decline in GDP experienced to date would have been avoided in the absence of any lockdown measures or other policy interventions (such as fiscal support)?

Answer:
A small portion of the decline
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
Much of the decline in economic activity would have occurred regardless, because of individual's reluctance to consume in sectors where infection and transmission risks were high. Many employers would have imposed voluntary work-from-home regimes. Moreover, the fiscal support will have mitigated some of the economic harm. However, I am sceptical of claims that there was no trade off whatsoever between the health and economic objectives.

Should the ECB Reformulate its Inflation Objective?

Question 3: Which of the following best reflects your opinion on the following statement? “The ECB should explicitly recognize unemployment and/or economic growth as a secondary aim, secondary to its price stability mandate.”

Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Confident

Question 2: Would you support increasing the ECB’s inflation target to a higher rate of inflation than the current 2% target?

Answer:
Neither support nor oppose
Confidence level:
Not confident

Question 1: Which of the following best reflects your opinion on the following statement? “The ECB should explicitly state that it will allow inflation to temporarily exceed the 2% target following extended periods of low inflation.”

Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
A maximum rate of inflation was never a coherent target. The central bank was unable to guarantee that it would meet such a target and such a target isn't desirable. An upper bound perhaps made sense for a young central bank attempting to gain credibility, but certainly not a central bank entering its third decade and finding it hard to increase inflation expectations.

The Economic Cost of School Closures

Question 3: To what extent will school closures increase gender inequality due to unequal gender distribution of the burden of school closures?

Answer:
To a small degree but persistently
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
The burden of school closures has fallen very unequally along gender lines. This will clearly cause an increase in gender inequality on the margin and this damage may be permanent without mitigating policy measures. It is hard to assess the magnitude of this damage with current data. My hunch is that the social forces pushing for greater gender inequality will contain the damages, but larger damages are possible depending on the duration of the pandemic.

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