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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery

A year ago, when the economic recovery had already been delayed two years, Lee Ohanain and I got the idea for a book on the role policy in the delay.  To make the idea operational we invited people who were working on the topic to a conference and to write chapters. The book Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery  is now available as an ebook with printed copies on their way to Amazon and other booksellers.With yet another year of delayed recovery and growing debates about the cause, the topic is more relevant than ever.

Here is how Lee Ohanian, Ian Wright and I summarized the papers and their implications in the Introduction:

The contributors to this book consider a wide range of topics and policy issues related to the delayed economic recovery. While their opinions are not always the same, together they reveal a common theme: the delayed recovery has been due to the enactment of poor economic policies and the failure to implement good economic policies. The discussion at the conference where some of the papers were presented—summarized by Ian Wright—reveals a similar theme.

The clear implication is that a change in the direction of economic policy is sorely needed. Simply waiting for economic problems to work themselves out, hoping that growth will improve as the Great Recession of fades into the distant past, will not be enough to restore strong economic growth in America.

And here is the Table of Contents:

Economic Strength and American Leadership
George P. Shultz
Uncertainty Unbundled: The Metrics of Activism
Alan Greenspan
Has Economic Policy Uncertainty Hampered the Recovery?
Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis
How the Financial Crisis Caused Persistent Unemployment
Robert E. Hall
What the Government Purchases Multiplier Actually Multiplied in the 2009 Stimulus Package
John F. Cogan and John B. Taylor
The Great Recession and Delayed Economic Recovery: A Labor Productivity Puzzle?
Ellen R. McGrattan and Edward C. Prescott
Why the U.S. Economy Has Failed to Recover and What Policies Will Promote Growth
Kyle F. Herkenhoff and Lee E. Ohanian
Restoring Sound Economic Policy: Three Views
Alan Greenspan, George P. Shultz, and John H. Cochrane
Summary of the Commentary
Ian J. Wright