THE BROOKINGS PANEL on Economic Activity held its sixty-second conference
in Washington, D.C., on September 5 and 6, 1996. This issue
of Brookings Papers on Economic Activity includes the articles and
discussions presented at that conference. The first paper employs advanced
statistical technique to analyze the importance of monetary policy
and the mechanisms by which it affects the economy. The second
demonstrates the importance of variations in the workweek of capital
in the business cycle. These papers are followed by a symposium on
the economies of the Pacific Rim. The first symposium paper revisits
the debate on the relative importance of total factor productivity and
capital accumulationi n explainingr apide conomic growthi n East Asia.
The second considers Japan's experience, both with successful growth
and, ultimately, with its financial bubble and recent stagnation. The
third examines China's economic development over the past two decades
and its prospects for the future. Three extended comments offer
observations about past and prospective growth in the region and elsewhere.
Brookings is grateful to the Korea Foundation for financial
support for the symposium.