LSE British Politicast Episode 2: Austerity Economics and Central Banking

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In this episode, we focus on austerity economics and the role of central banks in times of financial crisis. The UK coalition government embarked on a programme of spending cuts when it came to power in 2010. Since then many economists and academics have argued that the intellectual justification for austerity has crumbled […]

Given the enormity of the short- and long-run fiscal challenges facing the US, the lack of policy detail from both presidential candidates is disappointing

In the second part of their analysis of US policy responses to the economic recession, Ethan Ilzetzki and Jonathan Pinder examine the policy efforts aimed at reducing US public debt. They argue that proposals put forward by both presidential candidates are woefully short of specifics. Given the UK’s approach to tackling government debt, this analysis provides reasons for having a clear […]

Monetary or fiscal stimulus can help only if unemployment is cyclical; otherwise, if unemployment is structural expansionary policies will lead only to inflation. Careful recent analyses indicate that unemployment is mainly cyclical in the US

Ethan Ilzetzki and Jonathan Pinder examine the US economic woes since the beginning of the recession and the policy response aimed at fighting unemployment. They find that monetary or fiscal stimulus can help only if unemployment is cyclical and that unemployment (now at 7.8%) is indeed mainly cyclical. The examination of the US experience provides valuable insight for the UK experience, […]

British public opinion favours bailouts for countries that have strong economic ties to the UK

Using survey data from the UK, Stephanie Rickard finds that public support for bailouts varies by country and is dependant on factors such as beneficiary ties with the UK and the amount of issue-specific knowledge an individual has, with a greater percentage of support for the bailouts found within academia. Since 2010, the British government has committed substantial financial resources to rescues […]

Fiscal Consolidation during a Depression: the current economic pain could not have been avoided but could have been substantially reduced

John Van Reenen and Nitika Bagaria respond to the recent bad news on government borrowing by modelling three different fiscal consolidation scenarios. They argue that all scenarios point to the economy returning to long-run equilibrium, but note that the policy prescription to delay deficit reduction until after recovery is clearly under way is the most valid.     Based on figures released by […]

Book Review: Inside the Department of Economic Affairs: Samuel Brittan, the Diary of an ‘Irregular’, 1964-6

The rise and fall of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) parallels the promised but eventually unfulfilled modernization agenda of  Harold Wilson’s government. The diary kept by Samuel Brittan for the fourteen months in which he served as an ‘irregular’ in the DEA provides a unique source for understanding the growth ambitions of the new government. Paul Brighton finds the diaries as a whole, […]

Book Review: The Bank: Inside the Bank of England

The Bank of England is a uniquely powerful, influential and secretive institution, and in this inside account of the Bank, Dan Conaghan draws on interviews with senior Bank staff, shedding new light on the Bank’s role in the financial crisis. With its depth of source material and accessible style, Alastair Hill finds that Conaghan’s recent history of the Bank is timely, informative, and highly […]

Richard Layard explains the Manifesto for Economic Sense

Thousands of economists disagree with the austerity policies being followed in so many countries. Yet few speak out and I am one of the guilty ones. That is why Paul Krugman and I have now written a ‘Manifesto for Economic Sense’ which is reprinted below. We hope this will be signed by thousands of economists. More importantly, we hope that […]

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.