fiscal policy

Evaluating economic policy ideas recently offered to the Labour party

This policy paper reviews the report ‘Financing Investment’, commissioned by the Shadow Chancellor from GFC Economics and Clearpoint Advisors, and published on 20th June 2018. The authors say that the report ‘should not be taken to represent the views of the Labour Party or the Shadow Chancellor.’  Its evident purpose is to advise the Opposition and perhaps to elicit comments. It is ostensibly about investment and growth: in this, it echoes the concerns of the 1950s and 1960s. It argues that ‘the UK has fallen too far behind in research & development and its commercial applications.

“Sound finances”: strategy or soundbite?

A defining feature of (at least) the last three general elections has been the emphasis placed on each political party’s fiscal credibility and their ability to deliver “sound public finances”. Applying the logic of household book-keeping, balancing the fiscal budget is said to capture such soundness. There is, however, little evidence that a balanced budget is necessarily sound.

A Public Investment Stimulus in Surplus Countries and Its Spillovers in the EA

The Euro Area recommendations endorsed by the European Council in 2016 called for a differentiation of the fiscal effort by individual Member States, taking into account spillovers across Euro Area countries. This article shows model-based simulations of an increase in public investment in Germany and the Netherlands and their spillovers to the rest of the Euro Area. While spillovers in a monetary union may be small when monetary policy reacts by raising interest rates, when rates are kept constant and the stimulus is accommodated, spillovers can be sizeable.

The Autumn Statement: A Macro Perspective

The change of Chancellors has brought change in direction for fiscal policy. Ex-Chancellor Osborne argued that given the level of debt, austerity and a fiscal straight-jacket were necessary to maintain economic and financial confidence. Chancellor Hammond faces even higher debt levels and more uncertainty, but chose to reduce austerity and opt for a non-binding fiscal rule.

How should policy respond to the credit bust?

The August 2013 issue of the National Institute Economic Review, published on August 2nd, brings together new research by leading economists on the credit cycle - the expansion and contraction of access to credit over the course of the economic cycle. This is arguably the key challenge facing most major economies at present. The authors’ offer an enlightening menu of reforms – contrasting in some cases with the current UK approach.

Fiscal Policy, Fairness between Generations and National Saving

We assess fiscal policy from the perspective of fairness between generations and the relationship between this and national saving, in the context where the United Kingdom is one of the lowest saving of all the OECD economies. Cross-section and pooled data suggest that governments are in a position to influence national saving and we set out a simple overlapping generation model to show the effects of national debt, of pay-as-you-benefit systems, and of legacies and movements to land prices as means of effecting transfers between generations.

Fiscal Policy, Fairness between Generations and National Saving

We assess fiscal policy from the perspective of fairness between generations and the relationship between this and national saving , in the context where the United Kingdom is the lowest-saving of all the OECD economies. Cross-section and pooled data suggest that governments are in a position to influence national saving and we set out a simple overlapping generation model to show the effects of national debt, of pay as you benefit systems, of legacies and movements to land prices as means of effecting transfers between generations.