Wendy Carlin's picture
Affiliation: 
University College London
Credentials: 
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:
To a small degree but persistently
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
The accumulating evidence points in this direction.

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 evidence suggests this will be especially the case for young children missing out on school.

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

Answer:
Minor
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
There are a great many factors intervening between school closures and economic growth over that horizon; and growth itself is very difficult to predict. Possibly important is the effect of prolonged school closures on attrition of the teaching workforce and on recruitment into teaching. It would be good to see research on that.

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:
Confident
Comment:
No single measure will be appropriate and it is too early to have a good understanding of the macroeconomic conditions in the post-COVID-19 years (especially what the longer term growth rate and real interest rate are likely to be). Policy instruments will also be directed toward other targets such as climate objectives so it does not make much sense to pick one out for 'debt reduction'.

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

Answer:
Budgetary policy should not be used to address public deficits and debts in the foreseeable future
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Announcements about the size of the forecast increase in government debt and how worrying it is should be replaced by clear messaging about the shock-absorber role of public debt as the government plays its role as insurer or last resort. The focus should be on minimizing the damage to education, R&D, investment, start-ups etc. and on supporting incomes until econoimc activity can resume - not on the public debt. It is lack of attention to the former through an unbalanced concern with publc debt that will produce an increased burden on younger people.

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