The expertise of the panel is concentrated on the “live” issues of economic performance that confront the maker of public policy and the executive in the private sector. Particular attention is devoted to recent and current economic developments that are directly relevant to the contemporary scene or especially challenging to the expert because they stretch our understanding of economic theory or previous empirical findings. Such issues are typically quantitative in character, and the research findings are often of a statistical nature. Nonetheless, in all the articles and reports, the
reasoning and the conclusions are developed in a form both intelligible to the interested, informed nonspecialist and useful to the macroeconomic expert. In short, the papers aim at several objectives-meticulous and incisive professional analysis, timeliness and relevance to current issues, and lucidity of presentation.
The four principal articles and three shorter reports presented in ·this issue were prepared for the second conference of the Brookings panel, held in Washington on September 17-18, 1970. These papers generated spirited discussions at the conference. Many of the participants offered new insights and helpful comments; many had reservations or criticisms about various aspects of the papers. Some of these comments are reflected in the sum maries of discussion contained in this issue, some in the final versions of the papers themselves. But in all cases the papers are finally the product of the authors’ thinking and do not imply any agreement by those attending the conference. Nor do the papers or any of the other materials in this issue necessarily represent the views of the staff members, officers, or trustees of the Brookings Institution.