01-09 "Macroeconomic Policy and Sustainability"
The trend in mainstream economic thought about macroeconomic policy has been towards minimalism. In the optimistic Keynesian phase of the 1960's, it was assumed that both fiscal and monetary policy were effective tools for macroeconomic management. But the influence of monetarist and New Classical critiques has led to a gradual erosion of theoretical support for activist government policy. First fiscal policy fell by the wayside, perceived as too slow and possibly counterproductive in its impacts. Then New Classical and rational expectations critiques suggested that even monetary policy was ineffective. Thus the role of government policy has been reduced to a cautious effort not to make things worse B in effect a return to an economics of laissez-faire.
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Boston University - Institute for Economic Development
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