Obstacles to International Macroeconomic Policy Coordination
Coordination of macroeconomic policies among countries is not as straightforward in practice as it appears in theory. This paper discusses three obstacles to successful international coordination: (1) uncertainty as to the correct initial position of the economy, (2) uncertainty as to the correct objective, and (3) uncertainty as to the correct model linking policy actions to their effects in the economy. Previous results (NBER Working Paper No. 2059) showed that coordination under conditions of policy-maker disagreement about the correct model could very well reduce national welfare rather than raise it. This paper extends those results to allow for explicit policy-maker recognition of uncertainty regarding the correct model, as well as uncertainty regarding the model to which other policy-makers subscribe. It also shows that the potential gains from coordination, even when positive, are usually small relative to the gains from unilateral policy changes based on improved knowledge of the model.
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- Victor Zarnowitz, 1980. "On Functions, Quality, and Timeliness of Economic Information," NBER Working Papers 0608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Holtham, Gerald & Hughes Hallett, Andrew, 1987. "International Policy Cooperation and Model Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Cooper, Richard N., 1985. "Economic interdependence and coordination of economic policies," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1195-1234 Elsevier.
- Zarnowitz, Victor & Moore, Geoffrey H, 1982. "Sequential Signals of Recession and Recovery," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 57-85, January.
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