Ricardo Reis's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
AW Phillips Professor of Economics

Voting history

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:
By a large amount but temporarily
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
The two studies mentioned in the question are also the only two that I know in this area. My readings of them is that it depends on how labor markets will adjust to the pandemic, and it is too early to tell what will be the medium-run persistent impact. At the same time, they suggest that there is a large immediate impact both through child care closures and through the economic impact on services sectors that have more females employed.

Question 2: To what extent will school closures increase inequality in human capital development?

Answer:
To a small degree but persistently
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The estimates that I know of are understandably more imprecise than the ones on growth and income that I described in the previous answer, but still the impact would be small. More worrying is that the models of inequality that I am familiar with tend to suggest effects that are very persistent.

Question 1:What damage will school closures have on economic growth over a 10-15 year horizon?

Answer:
Minor
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The baseline correlation from the work of Barro and others suggests that a loss of 1/2 year of school attainment would lower economic growth by about 0.15%. Work by Bils and Klenow though suggest that the causal effect is at most 1/3 of that, lowering the impact to 0.05%. This is minor in terms of growth, what the question asks for. But in terms of output levels, it can be significant so "moderate" would be a more appropriate choice. The best estimates I know of, from Caselli and Ciccone, show that extra schooling has a moderate impact on the level of income.

COVID-19 and UK Public Finances

Question 2: What is the best way to (eventually) reduce public deficits and debt?

Answer:
None of the above, other, or no opinion
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
High inflation will very likely fail at inflating the debt (https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/10078.html) and in itself produces insignificant revenues (http://personal.lse.ac.uk/reisr/papers/19-HofCB.pdf). In turn, perpetuities must still be paid for. So, probably the answer is a mix of public spending cuts, higher taxes, and financial repression. But, which mix depends on the country and on the future itself, so there is no best way that the question asks for.

Question 1: How urgently should the UK government address the rise in public debt?

Answer:
HM Treasury should present a long-term plan to reduce the deficit as soon as possible, but not introduce measures to do so in the upcoming budget
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
It seems unwise to focus on paying for the public debt right now, when we are not even at the trough of the economic cycle. But having a clear long-term plan for fiscal policy would anchor expectations. It would remove one of the usually bigger sources of uncertainty for investment.

Pages