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Rewriting the Macroeconomists' Playbook in the Wake of the Crisis

Before the global economic crisis, mainstream macroeconomists had largely converged on a framework for the conduct of macroeconomic policy. The framework was elegant, and conceptually simple. Caricaturing just a bit, it went like this:

These were simple principles, and they seemed to work. From the early 1980s on, macroeconomic fluctuations were increasingly muted, and the period became known as the “Great Moderation”. Then the crisis came. If nothing else, it forces us to do a wholesale reexamination of those principles. Here are some ideas to guide the conversation:

These questions, and many more, will keep us busy for years to come. To take stock of the questions, and start exploring the answers, David Romer, Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and I have organized a conference on these issues. This conference will take place on March 7 and 8 at the IMF. While the conference is by invitation only due to space constraints, it will be webcast live. To follow it, and get more information please visit the conference website.

After the conference, we shall open a discussion site, and continue the discussion online. I hope many can join us and contribute as we continue to search for new approaches to the world’s changing macroeconomic and growth challenges.