Macroeconomic Policy in the Business Cycle - New Theoretical Currents
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Publication date: 2003-05-25
GNPJE 2003;184(5-6):1-22
Over the past thirty years economists’ conviction that macroeconomic policy can be used as an instrument helping to mitigate cyclical fluctuations waned significantly. This phenomenon was related to both theoretical considerations and economic practice. Nevertheless, in recent years a number of major developments in the world economy brought about a revival of economists’ interest in efficiency of anti-cyclical policy. These factors have been introduced in the first part of the study. The second part presents conclusions from studies of cyclical fluctuations. It takes into account controversies concerning both the nature of dependencies between cyclical fluctuations and long-term growth, and business cycle developments in advanced economies (especially the United States and Japan). The third part of the study tackles the rather radical change in views on the efficiency of fiscal policy, which has been seen lately. It presents alternative theoretical approaches allowing to analyse short-term effects of that policy and arguments for and against discretional decisions and policy rules.
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