Wouter Den Haan's picture
Affiliation: 
London School of Economics
Credentials: 
Professor of economics

Voting history

Lockdowns and UK Economic Performance

Question 3: Using not only the policy tools that have been part of the UK policy mix thus far but also policy tools implemented in other countries, to what extent does the government face a tradeoff between saving lives and preserving livelihoods? 

Answer:
Large tradeoff
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
In the short-run there definitely is an important trade-off. I guess one could argue that if health issues are ignored then the consequences of the pandemic really become overwhelming with hospitals not being able to cope, many people being sick for long periods of time, and lots of people dying. This would be bad for livelihoods since one cannot work if one is sick (or dead). And such a disastrous outcome could have further negative consequences such as complete distrust in the government. So it is in principle possible that there are some long-run economic benefits of focusing on health at the cost of short-term economic damage.

Question 2: How much will the new lockdown measures introduced on Thursday November 5 hurt UK economic activity this year relative to a counterfactual with the milder measures adopted over the summer?

Answer:
Large damage
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I interpret large to mean substantial but clearly not as big as the downfall of the first lock down.

Question 1: How much of the decline in GDP experienced to date would have been avoided in the absence of any lockdown measures or other policy interventions (such as fiscal support)?

Answer:
A substantial portion or the entire decline
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
Although there definitely will be some voluntary social distancing but it wouldn't come close to what was brought about by the first lockdown.

Should the ECB Reformulate its Inflation Objective?

Question 3: Which of the following best reflects your opinion on the following statement? “The ECB should explicitly recognize unemployment and/or economic growth as a secondary aim, secondary to its price stability mandate.”

Answer:
Neither agree nor disagree
Confidence level:
Not confident at all
Comment:
This is difficult. Ideally the answer is yes, but with a very heterogeneous currency zone this would be very difficult and put quite a bit of pressure on the ECB

Question 2: Would you support increasing the ECB’s inflation target to a higher rate of inflation than the current 2% target?

Answer:
Strongly oppose
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
This would not be credible at all in the current environment.

Pages