John VanReenen's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Professor of economics
Director of Centre for Economic Performance

Voting history

National Living Wage and the UK economy

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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:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
There will certainly be an increase in wages/reduction in wage inequality and a fall in profits (see my work on the 1999 introduction of the UK National Minimum Wage) http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0715.pdf It's likely at such high levels we will start seeing unemployment effects The bad thing about the Living Wage Policy is that it over-rode the work of the Low Pay Commission which was an internationally praised, independent, expert body recommending the level of the minimum wage.

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:
Extremely confident

Market Turbulence and Growth Prospects

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Question 2: Do you agree that the falls in share prices, low oil prices and the slowdown in some emerging market economies will have a significant negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

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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:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Confident

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:
Strongly Disagree
Confidence level:
Extremely confident
Comment:
See answers to previous question. The obsession with public debt is very harmful to sensible policy making. We need to consider the assets side of the balance sheet, not simply the debt side. Credibility is not enhanced by setting such targets or having silly laws that can be revoked when needed. At best it leads to financing gimmickry with the public accounts (e.g. manipulating the timing of sales and recording of public assets), at worst it leads to premature austerity and serious reductions in growth and welfare (as occurred in 2010-120.

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