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Evaluating Policy Regimes

New Research in Empirical Macroeconomics

Edited by Ralph Bryant, Peter Hooper, and Catherine L. Mann
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Economists have long debated the theoretical merits—for an individual nation and for a multi-nation world economy—of alternative approaches to the conduct of economic policy. Yet theory alone cannot resolve the important issues at stake. Only after the robustness of policy regimes has been carefully examined with empirical evidence will policymakers and economists be able to reach more of a consensus. This pathbreaking volume takes major steps forward in meeting the need for a combination of theoretical and empirical evaluations of alternative policy regimes. Bringing together individuals and groups doing pioneering research on macroeconomic interaction, it explores what approach to monetary policy would lead to superior performance by individual national economies and the world economy as a whole. Many parts of the book use the analytical techniques of stochastic simulation, an evaluation procedure increasingly employed at the frontier of empirical economic analysis. The book provides a summary of the hey issues involved in evaluating policy regimes and clarifies the relationships among those issues. The authors examine the stabilization properties of alternative monetary-policy regimes and analyze how well various regime types perform in the face of unexpected shocks to national economies. Among their conclusions, they find that some simplified regimes for monetary policy are markedly less promising than others for achieving the stabilization objectives commonly sought by policymakers. Evaluating Policy Regimes is another major installment in a continuing world wide research project, sponsored by the Brookings Institution, to improve empirical knowledge about the interdependence of national economies.

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