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BPEA Article

Editors’ Summary of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity – 1970 No. 2

Abstract

This is the second issue of Brookings Papers  on Economic Activity, a publication that appears three times a year and contains the articles, re­ ports, and highlights of the discussion from conferences of the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity. Financed by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Alex C. Walker Foundation, the panel was formed to promote professional research and analysis of key developments in U.S. economic activity. Prosperity and price stability are its basic subjects.

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.

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