Kate Barker's picture
Affiliation: 
British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme
Credentials: 
former member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee

Voting history

House Prices and the UK economy

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Question 1: Do you agree that the phenomenon of declining house prices will ripple out from the London property market leading more UK regions to experience falling prices?

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Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
As income growth remains weak, the rate of new home supply in England has picked up. There has been the first move up in interest rates. This all suggests slightly weaker demand at present prices, and so outside London prices may weaken, rising slowly or even falling a little in nominal terms. however, the reasons for this will be a little different from those driving London house price declines at the moment (which include the impacts of stamp duty changes) so I would not describe this as 'rippling out'. And a sharp shock from higher interest rates or a move into recession with rising unemployment seems unlikely, so I am not anticipating a change in economic conditions of the type which would prompt a large change in house price expectaions and thus a damaging sharp fall in house prices. A slow move down relative to incomes, especially young people's incomes, is in any case quite desirable.

Wages and economic recoveries

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Question 2: Do you agree that the different behaviour of UK real wages relative to Eurozone wages during the Great Recession is in large part due to the UK having different labour market policies?

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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Not confident

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Question 1: Do you agree that lower real wage growth was beneficial for employment levels during the Great Recession?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Very confident

Happiness and well-being as objectives of macro policy

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Question 2: Do you agree that quantitative well-being analysis should play an important role in guiding policy makers in determining macroeconomic policies?

 
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Answer:
Agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
This is now a very connected world, in which discontent can become more apparent. Policymakers need to be more alive to the issues which are really disturbing citizens and localities. These surveys may help, and may guide not so much macroeconomic policies but the micropolicies of tax and spatial issues.

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Question 1: Do you agree that subjective well-being measures, or at least some of the subindices from the typical survey measures, are now reliable enough to give useful insights when used in macroeconomic empirical analysis?

 
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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
In the UK at least, we have not enough track record of some of these surveys to make use of them adequately to assess the impact of economic shocks or policy changes. However, it would be useful for this to develop, and this purpose strongly to inform the development of the surveys.

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