The pre-crisis consensus was, and remains, very strong – the business cycle would be managed by monetary policy, while fiscal policy would focus solely on debt sustainability. In a world of zero interest rates, however, fiscal policy has to contribute to supporting aggregate demand and protecting against deflationary risks. This column outlines three ways in which a well-designed expansionary fiscal policy stance can contribute to better economic outcomes.
Ángel Ubide, 11 October 2016
Lola Gadea, Ana Gomez-Loscos, Gabriel Pérez-Quirós, 26 October 2015
The Great Moderation is one of the most important changes in the US business cycle since statistics where gathered. This column contributes three main ideas – that output volatility remains subdued despite the tumult created by the Great Recession, that the Great Moderation structural break is found when considering a long historical dataset, and that the nature of the volatility reduction associated with the Great Moderation is linked to the features of expansion phases, in particular, to the absence of high growth recoveries.
Olivier Blanchard, 03 October 2014
Before the 2008 crisis, the mainstream worldview among US macroeconomists was that economic fluctuations were regular and essentially self-correcting. In this column, IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard explains how this benign view of fluctuations took hold in the profession, and what lessons have been learned since the crisis. He argues that macroeconomic policy should aim to keep the economy away from ‘dark corners’, where it can malfunction badly.
Marcus Miller, Lei Zhang, 10 September 2014
During the Great Moderation, inflation targeting with some form of Taylor rule became the norm at central banks. This column argues that the Global Crisis called for a new approach, and that the divergence in macroeconomic performance since then between the US and the UK on the one hand, and the Eurozone on the other, is partly attributable to monetary policy differences. The ECB’s model of the economy worked well during the Great Moderation, but is ill suited to understanding the Great Recession.
Wouter den Haan, Vincent Sterk, 08 November 2011
Financial institutions played a leading role in the global crisis, and policymakers are under pressure to do something about them. This column argues that before any draconian measures are passed, we need to be reminded of the benefits of the financial sector and the innovation it provides.
Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 16 January 2010
Was the Great Moderation “something of a fluke”? This column argues that good monetary policy did play a role in taming inflation. It argues that the current recession, while clearly severe by historical standards, does not seem to imply a return to the levels of volatility observed in the 1970s.