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Rethinking Stabilization Policy: Evolution or Revolution?

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  • Olivier J. Blanchard
  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

The obvious lesson from the Great Financial Crisis is that the financial system matters and financial crises will probably happen again. The second, more general, lesson is that the economy is often not self-stabilizing. These two lessons, together with an environment where neutral interest rates are likely to remain low, have clear implications for the design of stabilization policies. At a minimum, they suggest that policies may need to become more aggressive, both ex-ante and ex-post, with a rebalancing of the roles of monetary, fiscal and financial policies. In particular, while low neutral rates decrease the scope for using monetary policy, they increase the scope for using fiscal policy. Think of such rebalancing as evolution. If however, neutral rates become even lower, or financial regulation turns out to be insufficient to prevent crises, more dramatic measures, including larger fiscal deficits, revised monetary policy targets, or sharper restrictions on the financial system, may be needed. Think of this as revolution. Time will tell.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 2017. "Rethinking Stabilization Policy: Evolution or Revolution?," NBER Working Papers 24179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24179
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    2. Willian Capriata & Leonardo Flauzino de Souza, 2021. "The exchange rate in Orthodox, Keynesian and New Developmentalism theoretical models: a literature review," Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Brazilian Journal of Political Economy (Brazil), vol. 41(2), Apr-Jun.
    3. Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez & Jesus Bejarano & Andres Gonzalez & Clark Granger-Castaño & Franz Hamann & Yurany Hernández-Turca & Juan Manuel Julio-Román & Martha López & Juan C. , 2019. "La política fiscal y la estabilización macroeconómica en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, issue 90, pages 1-60, April.
    4. Roberto Ciccone & Antonella Stirati, 2019. "Blanchard e Summers: rivoluzione o conservazione? (Blanchard and Summers: revolution or conservation?)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 72(287), pages 207-218.
    5. Henri Keränen & Sakari Lähdemäki, 2020. "Identification of fiscal SVARs in small open economies using trading partner forecast errors as instruments," Working Papers 330, Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos, Labour Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Emre Örün, 2020. "Theoritical Seekings in Macroeconomics," Istanbul Journal of Economics-Istanbul Iktisat Dergisi, Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 70(2), pages 451-477, December.
    7. Ignacio Benito Amaro, 2020. "Evaluación Económica de pérdidas por enfermedades en bovinos: métodos de valuación de perdida," Asociación Argentina de Economía Política: Working Papers 4310, Asociación Argentina de Economía Política.
    8. Heinz D. Kurz & Neri Salvadori, 2019. "Alla ricerca di una migliore teoria macroeconomica (Looking for a better macroeconomic theory)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 72(287), pages 229-247.
    9. Ignacio Lozano-Espitia & Fernando Arias-Rodríguez, Jesus Bejarano & Andres Gonzalez, Clark Granger-Castaño & Franz Hamann, Yurany Hernández-Turca & Juan Manuel Julio-Román, Martha López & Juan C. Mend, 2019. "La política fiscal y la estabilización macroeconómica en Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos Sobre Política Económica, Banco de la República - ESPE, issue 90, pages 1-60, April.
    10. Attinasi, Maria Grazia & Palazzo, Alessandra Anna & Pierluigi, Beatrice, 2019. "Fiscal activism in the euro area and in other advanced economies: new evidence," Working Paper Series 2344, European Central Bank.
    11. Nissanke, Machiko, 2019. "Exploring macroeconomic frameworks conducive to structural transformation of sub-Saharan African economies," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 103-116.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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