Alan Auerbach, Maurice Obstfeld, 23 October 2010

As the debate over China’s exchange-rate policy and the US response intensifies, this column argues that a large Chinese revaluation – whether forced of voluntary – will not be a free lunch for the US. Drawing on a theoretical cost-benefit analysis, it suggests that if the US wants to create jobs at the lowest costs, it should first consider further fiscal expansion.

Olivier Blanchard, 12 October 2010

A “strong, balanced, and sustained world recovery” as demanded by the G20 is a daunting challenge for policymakers. This column argues that two rebalancing acts are required: internal rebalancing – replacing government spending with private-sector demand, and external rebalancing – addressing the global imbalances between exporting and importing countries. These two rebalancing acts, it adds, are taking too long.

Mathias Dolls, Clemens Fuest, Andreas Peichl, 17 September 2010

While debate rages over the appropriate size and timing of fiscal expansions, this column points out that much less attention is devoted to role of the automatic stabilisers in the tax and transfer system. It compares these stabilisers in Europe and the US, finding that social transfers play a key role in the stabilisation of disposable incomes and consumer demand.

Robert Inman, 15 September 2010

What can we learn from US President Obama’s fiscal stimulus? This column argues that channelling the stimulus package through state governments exposed it to agency costs, free-riding problem, and political expediency. As a result, the stimulus has failed to meet its objectives at the state level. The lesson is that fiscal stimulus should be conducted centrally.

Alan Auerbach, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 03 September 2010

The return from a fiscal stimulus – the fiscal multiplier – remains one of the most controversial topics in economics today. This column considers the influence of expectations, of variation in recessions and expansions, and of different components of government spending. It finds that the size of the multiplier varies considerably over the business cycle: between 0 and 0.5 in expansions and between 1 and 1.5 in recessions.

Guillermo Calvo, 04 August 2010

The debate over fiscal policy has reached a fork in the road. One way leads to maintaining or increasing the fiscal stimulus. This column argues that policymakers should take the other path. This would mean phasing out government expenditure while phasing in social protection programmes at the risk of a double-dip recession but potentially resulting in a more vibrant economy.

Francesco Giavazzi, 22 July 2010

The global macroeconomy is at a juncture; some economists argue for continued fiscal stimulus to avoid a double dip recession while others argue for fiscal prudence. In this column, one of the world's leading macroeconomists argues for continued stimulus combined with a plan to ensure long-run sustainability by reforming the funding of pension liabilities.

Ronald Mendoza, 09 June 2010

As the G20 changes its recommendations from fiscal stimulus towards fiscal austerity, this column argues that policymakers should be careful not to leave the most vulnerable behind. It says that robust social spending and investments are needed even under tight fiscal conditions – stock markets may bounce back, but a generation growing up in poverty may not.

Edward Barbier, 03 June 2010

Nearly one-sixth of the more than $3 trillion in fiscal stimulus spent in 2008 and 2009 was allocated to green spending. But this column argues that without correcting existing market and policy distortions, the “greening” of the world economy will be short-lived. Now more than ever, the world needs a global green New Deal – and it needs the G20 to lead the way.

Giancarlo Corsetti, André Meier, Gernot Müller, 05 February 2010

The staggering growth in public debt as a result of the financial crisis has led many to call for significant fiscal retrenchment. This column argues that such looming expenditure cuts will actually enhance the effectiveness of today’s fiscal stimulus. But if monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound on policy rates, the spending cuts should not come too early.

Enrique Mendoza, Carlos Vegh, Ethan Ilzetzki, 01 October 2009

Economists do not agree on one question crucial to evaluating governments' responses to the crisis: how much stimulus does spending provide? CEPR Policy Insight No.39 examines how the characteristics of an economy impact on the size of fiscal multipliers.

Peter Heller, 18 September 2009

At the Global Economic Symposium in Schleswig-Holstein in September 2009, Peter Heller of Johns Hopkins University spoke at a session on ‘dealing with the new social divides’. Afterwards, he talked to Romesh Vaitilingam about the challenges of restoring sustainable public finances after the fiscal stimulus – and the potential impact on growth in the developing countries and on the ageing populations of the industrial countries.

Carmen Reinhart, Vincent Reinhart, 22 August 2009

Developed economies are implementing massive fiscal stimulus packages. Should emerging economies? This column warns them that fiscal multipliers are not certain, financing budget deficits will not be easy, the risk of default looms, and central bank independence may be eroded.

Max Corden, 19 May 2009

CEPR Policy Insight No.34 takes a close look at the Keynesian theory underlying the policy of fiscal stimulus being undertaken or considered in many countries, led by the US.

Max Corden, 19 May 2009

Conservative critics of fiscal stimulus policies usually criticise such policies because of the public debt burden they create. This column introduces a new CEPR Policy Insight, which takes a close look at the Keynesian theory underlying the policy of fiscal stimulus being undertaken or considered in many countries, led by the US

Keiichiro Kobayashi, 01 April 2009

Bad debt is the root of the crisis. Fiscal stimulus may help economies for a couple of years but once the “painkilling” effect wears off, US and European economies will plunge back into crisis. The crisis won’t be over until the nonperforming assets are off the balance sheets of US and European banks.

Volker Wieland, 31 March 2009

US economic advisers called for aggressive fiscal stimulus, and some support further measures. But many macroeconomists are not so sure. This column analyses fiscal stimulus using a New Keynesian model that exemplifies contemporary academic thinking on the subject. It says that the spending multiplier is much lower than the Obama administration’s estimates – government spending may quickly crowd out private consumption and investment.

Antonio Spilimbergo, Steven Symansky, Olivier Blanchard, Carlo Cottarelli, 12 February 2009

The global crisis demands bold initiatives to i) rescue the financial sector, and ii) boost aggregate demand, with early resolution of financial sector problems being a necessary condition for the stimulus to work. Since monetary policy is at the end of its rope, early, strong, and carefully thought-out fiscal policies are urgently needed. Time and action are of the essence if we are to avoid a contraction larger than any we’ve seen since the 1930s.

Sylvester Eijffinger, 05 February 2009

This column outlines the Netherlands’ economic recovery plans and compares them to those of other EU members. The Dutch and German plans are sound, as they focus on inducing investment rather than assisting consumers and avoid picking winners amongst industries. But their efforts may not be enough, given recession forecasts.

Robert J. Gordon, 30 January 2009

Robert Gordon of Northwestern University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the causes and consequences of the economic crisis, the emerging consensus on the need for fiscal stimulus, and the challenge to the schools of thought that have dominated macroeconomics in recent decades. He argues that we will see a return to old-fashioned Keynesian (non-market clearing) analysis in macroeconomic teaching and research. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in San Francisco in January 2009.

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