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

Voting history

The Economic Cost of School Closures

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

Answer:
Moderate
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
We know that education matters and I can only expect that globalisation has made the educational attainment of the UK more important.

Will COVID-19 Cause Permanent Damage to the UK Economy?

Question 2: Which aspect of the economy poses the greatest risk for a slow recovery?

Answer:
Private debt and financial markets (e.g. debt overhang, bank failures)
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
But business failures must matter as well

Question 1: How quickly will the economy rebound (e.g. to the pre-pandemic trend) once the COVID-19 pandemic has been contained and absent major policy interventions? 

Answer:
The economy will rapidly return to its pre-crisis growth trend, but there will be a permanent effect on the level of GDP
Confidence level:
Not confident
Comment:
This estimate is conditional on the government not quickly reverting to austerity policies to bring debt to GDP ratios down.

COVID-19 and UK Public Finances

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

Answer:
Tax increases
Confidence level:
Confident
Comment:
I am sure it will have to be a combination of the set listed, but I chose tax increases because after so many years of austerity we should be careful with further erosion of government services (the cost of which has become very clear during the pandemic)

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

Answer:
There is no need to take or announce any budgetary actions to reduce the deficit or the public debt until the end of the pandemic
Confidence level:
Very confident
Comment:
we know countries like the UK can deal with high debt levels and right now there are obviously more important concerns

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