Brookings Papers on Economic Activity

Articles from No. 1, Spring

Debt Intolerance
IN THIS PAPER WE argue that history matters: that a country's record at meeting its debt obligations and managing its macroeconomy in the past is relevant to forecasting its ability to sustain moderate to high levels of indebtedness, both domestic...
Did Pension Plan Accounting Contribute to a Stock Market Bubble?
DURING THE 1990S THE assets of corporate defined-benefit (DB) pension plans ballooned as a result of the booming stock market. Because of accounting rules for DB plans put in place in 1986, this robust growth provided a substantial, although stealthy,...
Editors' Summary
THE BROOKINGS PAN EL ON Economic Activity held its seventy-fifth conference in Washington, D.C., on March 27 and 28, 2003. This issue of Brookings Papers on Economic Activity includes the papers and discussions presented at the conference. The first...
Fiscal Policy, Past and Present
RECENT EVENTS EXPOSE SOME OF the difficulties of making timely and rational fiscal policy choices. The recession that began in early 2001 has likely been over for several quarters, but as of early 2003 the Business Cycle Dating Committee at the National...
Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments
It will be remembered that the seventy translators of the Septuagint were shut up in seventy separate rooms with the Hebrew text and brought out with them. when they emerged, seventy identical translations. Would the same miracle be vouchsafed if seventy...
The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy
THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PROPER conduct of monetary policy of the existence of a lower bound of zero for overnight nominal interest rates has recently become a topic of lively interest. In Japan the call rate (the overnight cash rate analogous to the...