Friday, June 17, 2016

Implications of globalization and secular stagnation for monetary policy [feedly]

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Implications of globalization and secular stagnation for monetary policy
// Economic Policy Institute Blog

The following is a lightly edited transcription of a talk given by Josh Bivens at an AFL-CIO conference on the Implications of Globalization & Secular Stagnation for Monetary Policy.

The central question this presentation is "what are the implications of globalization and secular stagnation for monetary policy?" Let me tell you my final answer first and then I'll work my way there.

My final answer is that globalization and secular stagnation make a sustained, coordinated fiscal expansion necessary for restoring growth to the global economy. Current politics in both the Unites States and Europe make this impossible in the short run. This means it's likely to be a long time before we have a decent global economy, and that's a real problem.

Let's start out with some definitions. Secular stagnation is a chronic shortfall of aggregate demand that cannot be solved just by lowering short-term interest rates. It is obviously closely related to the problems of the zero lower bound (ZLB) on interest rates—it essentially says that this ZLB problem is not something that needs a one-time burst of policy activism to defeat, but that long-run forces (the rise of inequality, among other things) have lowered the long-term natural rate of interest that is consistent with full employment.

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