New PDF release: American Economic Policy in the 1990s

By Jeffrey A. Frankel, Peter R. Orszag

ISBN-10: 0262062305

ISBN-13: 9780262062305

An exam of U.S. fiscal coverage within the Nineteen Nineties, by means of major coverage makers in addition to educational economists.

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2 considers whether some of the good performance of the 1990s can be attributed to good luck rather than good policy. 3 examines how policy was different from earlier decades. 4 considers the legacy that the monetary policy of the 1990s leaves for the future. 5 summarizes the conclusions from this experience. 1 The Macroeconomic Performance of the 1990s I begin by comparing the performance of the economy during the 1990s with other recent decades. I concentrate on three standard time series: inflation, unemployment, and real growth.

Hawkish sentiment and inflation phobia were running high—both in the financial markets and in the FOMC—and there were some truly contentious FOMC meetings. But the Fed stopped in time and then backed off its peak rates (starting in July 1995), thereby guiding the economy to what then appeared to be a tolerable estimate of the NAIRU. Episode three begins in early 1996 and stretches into mid-1999, with a notable interruption in 1998 to deal with the world financial crisis.

Before doing so, let’s clear up a potential confusion. Although a central bank can control both the money supply and the level of interest rates, it would be wrong to view these two variables as distinct policy instruments. The reason is that the central bank influences interest rates by adjusting the money supply. In essence, interest rates are the price of money. The central bank affects the price of money by controlling the quantity of money. As a first approximation, the central bank’s only policy lever is the supply of high-powered money (currency plus bank reserves), which it controls through open-market operations and, to a lesser extent, lending at its discount window.

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American Economic Policy in the 1990s by Jeffrey A. Frankel, Peter R. Orszag


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