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Stabilization Policy: A Reconsideration

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  • Janet L. Yellen
  • George A. Akerlof

Abstract

Should stabilization policy be a macroeconomic priority? Most central banks consider it a goal, but Robert Lucas has contended that policies to stabilize output, even if effective, yield negligible welfare gains. This article critiques Lucas's argument. Existing literature suggests nontrivial benefits from stabilization due to nonlinearity of the social welfare function and of the short-run Phillips curve. Our analysis and examination of the evidence from periods of prolonged high unemployment also suggest further significant gains to stabilization since the "accelerationist" hypothesis does not seem to hold in times of very low inflation. (JEL E61, E63) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet L. Yellen & George A. Akerlof, 2006. "Stabilization Policy: A Reconsideration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 1-22, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:1:p:1-22
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Vice Chair Janet L. Yellen: Perspectives on Monetary Policy
      by Guest Author in The Big Picture on 2012-06-07 16:05:32
    2. Full text: Janet Yellen – Perspectives on Monetary Policy
      by Guest Author in Credit Writedowns on 2012-06-07 18:10:28

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Derek Stimel, 2009. "An examination of U.S. Phillips curve nonlinearity and its relationship to the business cycle," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 736-748.
    2. Su Zhou, "undated". "Nonlinearity and stationarity of inflation rates: Evidence from the euro-zone countries," Working Papers 0006, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio.
    3. Huang, Ho-Chuan (River) & Fang, WenShwo & Miller, Stephen M., 2014. "Does financial development volatility affect industrial growth volatility?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 307-320.
    4. Huang, Ho-Chuan (River) & Fang, WenShwo & Miller, Stephen M. & Yeh, Chih-Chuan, 2015. "The effect of growth volatility on income inequality," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 212-222.
    5. Gadi Barlevy, 2004. "The Cost of Business Cycles and the Benefits of Stabilization: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Femke De Keulenaer & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Georgios Kavetsos & Michael I. Norton & Bert Van Landeghem & George W. Ward, 2014. "The Asymmetric Experience of Positive and Negative Economic Growth: Global Evidence Using Subjective Well-Being Data," CEP Discussion Papers dp1304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Novella Maugeri, 2010. "Macroeconomic Implications of Near Rational Behavior: an Application to the Italian Phillips Curve," Department of Economics University of Siena 587, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    8. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:30:y:2010:i:1:p:543-557 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sebastian Dullien & Ulrich Fritsche, 2007. "Does the Dispersion of Unit Labor Cost Dynamics in the EMU Imply Long-Run Divergence?: Results from a Comparison with the United States of America and Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 674, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Sebastian Dullien & Ulrich Fritsche, 2008. "Does the dispersion of unit labor cost dynamics in the EMU imply long-run divergence?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 269-295, November.
    11. Chen, Shyh-Wei & Hsu, Chi-Sheng, 2016. "Threshold, smooth transition and mean reversion in inflation: New evidence from European countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 23-36.
    12. Wang, Peng-fei & Wen, Yi, 2011. "Volatility, growth, and welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1696-1709, October.
    13. Ho-Chuan Huang & WenShwo Fang & Stephen M. Miller, 2012. "Banking Market Structure, Liquidity Needs, and Industrial Growth Volatility," Working papers 2012-26, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    14. Federico Favaretto & Donato Masciandaro, 2014. "Behavioral Economics and Monetary Policy," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1501, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    15. Pierre Fortin, 2016. "A Stable 4% Inflation Could Get Canadians One Half Million More Jobs," Cahiers de recherche 1604, CIRPEE.
    16. Gadi Barlevy, 2005. "The cost of business cycles and the benefits of stabilization," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 32-49.
    17. Greg Hannsgen, 2007. "Are the Costs of the Business Cycle 'Trivially Small'?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_492, Levy Economics Institute.
    18. Janet L. Yellen, 2007. "Implications of behavioral economics for monetary policy," Speech 41, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    19. Derek Stimel, 2010. "Choice of Aggregate Demand Proxy and its Affect on Phillips Curve Nonlinearity: U.S. Evidence," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 543-557.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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