Nicholas Oulton's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Senior Visiting Research Fellow

Voting history

The UK Productivity Puzzle

Question 2: Which of the following was the second most important cause for the slowdown in UK productivity growth?

Answer:
None of the above, other, or no opinion
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
The second most important cause was the continuing rise in the labour force, mainly due to migration and made possible by our flexible labour market. In all EU countries demand for exports slowed down as a result of the Great Recession. In most other EU countries this led to rising unemployment and falling employment, with labour productivity less affected. But in the UK employment rose at the same rate after the crisis as before, mainly due to migration. So inevitably productivity growth fell, as business investment declined and capital deepening flatlined.

Question 1: Which of the following was the most important cause for the slowdown in UK productivity growth?

Answer:
Low demand (including due to the financial crisis, austerity policies, or Brexit)
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
I have argued that the reason why the UK experienced a particularly sharp slowdown in productivity growth was a combination of two factors. First, the slowdown after 2007 in demand for UK exports concentrated as they are on the EU. And second, our very flexible labour market which allowed the labour force to go on rising at the same rate after the crisis hit as before, mainly because of migration. The after effects of the banking crisis may also have impacted negatively.

Bitcoin and the City

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Question 2: Do you agree that the regulatory oversight of cryptocurrencies needs to be increased?

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Answer:
Strongly agree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
In practice crypto currenices have been strongly linked to criminality as the Mt Gox affair shows. A parallel is the Albanian Ponzi schemes of the 1990s which seriously destabilised Albania. One strand of current policy is to crack down on money laundering and tax evasion through tax havens. So it would seem odd to let crypto currencies get around these restrictions. It would be a good idea if the "crypto" were taken out of crypto currencies. But then they might not be very attractive to investors and promoters.

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Question 1: Do you agree that cryptocurrencies are currently a threat to the stability of the financial system, or can be expected to become a threat in the next couple of years?

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Answer:
Disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
They are not currently a threat but they could become one if left unregulated.

Juncker's State of the Union Address

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Question 2: Do you agree that the euro has had more benefits than costs?

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Answer:
Strongly disagree
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
It is well known that those who pushed for the creation of the euro were well aware of its flaws. But they hoped to use it as a lever to create a deeper political and economic unit, a United States of Europe in fact. The euro was severely tested by the global financial crisis and found wanting. So far the push for fiscal as well as monetary union has met with adamanine resistance from the one country whose agreement is necessary, Germany. I don't expect this to change in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile we will probably continue to see the rise of political forces which are fundamentally hostile not just to the euro but to capitalism as well.

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