Professor Jonathan Haskel has been appointed to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). He will be one of nine members responsible for making a range of decisions, such as setting interest rates.
Haskel will replace Ian McCafferty as one of four external MPC members when McCafferty’s second three-year term ends on the 1st of September 2018.
Prof Haskel said: “I’m truly honoured to be nominated to the MPC and to follow Ian McCafferty who has been such a dedicated and hard-working member over the last six years, especially with his work visiting schools. I look forward to contributing to the MPC’s vital role in maintaining the UK’s price stability and communicating its thinking.”
Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School said: “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Jonathan on this appointment, which reflects his recognition as one of the leading international authorities in economics. His research and intellectual leadership is among the best in our school and we are honoured to have him in our faculty.”
Prof Haskel has a Chair in Economics at the Imperial College Business School. He is known for his book Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy, co-authored with Stian Westlake, and his winning entry in the 2017 Indigo Prize, which asks how we measure economic activity in a 21st century economy.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “I am delighted that Professor Haskel is joining the MPC. I am confident that his expertise in productivity and innovation will further sharpen the Committee’s understanding of the British economy.”
The appointment has drawn criticism from women’s rights groups, after it emerged Prof Haskel was the only man in a shortlist of five. A Women’s Equality Party spokeswoman said the decision sent the wrong message on the commitment of the Treasury to improve diversity.
Rachel Reeves, Labour MP for Leeds West and Chair of the Business Select Committee – which oversees the administration of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – said it was “truly staggering that the Treasury has failed to appoint a woman to this role”. She further added: “The fact that four women were shortlisted shows that there are plenty of capable and well-qualified women, but yet again the top jobs seem to be reserved for men.”
A Treasury spokesman said: “We are committed to diversity and encouraging the broadest range of candidates. We actively contacted 44 women to apply for this role, 80% of those interviewed were women, and the majority of those on the interview panel were women. The final appointment decision was based on merit.”
The Treasury said that the appointment was made by a panel comprised of two women – Clare Lombardelli, first female chief economic adviser to the Treasury and Kate Barker, former MPC member – and Richard Hughes, the Treasury’s director of fiscal policy.
Earlier this year the Business School apologised after a complaint their Managerial Economics module made use of teaching materials that “objectified women”.