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BPEA Article

Editor’s Summary of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity – 2009 No 1



THE BROOKINGS PANEL ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY held its eighty-seventh conference in Washington, D.C., on April 2 and 3, 2009. The conference occurred barely six months after the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers, an event often used to date the transition from a largely conventional cyclical downturn, characterized by a strained financial system and mild recession, to a full-blown financial and economic crisis. In keeping with the Brookings Papers’ tradition of providing timely analysis of current economic events, three of the papers in this volume address the role of various factors in the initial downturn and the ensuing crisis, including the response of policymakers, the behavior of bond markets, and the role played by the oil market. The two remaining papers examine the impact of tax cuts on government spending, and the role of corruption in undermining popular support for market-oriented policies.

David H. Romer

Herman Royer Professor of Political Economy - University of California, Berkeley

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