Academic journal article Economic Review - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Foreword

Academic journal article Economic Review - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Foreword

Article excerpt

For the past 25 years, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has sponsored an annual economic policy symposium. These conferences bring together a distinguished group of central bank officials, academic economists, and business economists to discuss and debate important public policy issues. Over the years, the interchange among symposium participants has been extremely valuable in illuminating key policy issues and in identifying solutions to complex problems facing policymakers around the world.

This year's symposium, "Rethinking Stabilization Policy," examined an issue that has become increasingly important in many countries in the past few years. For some time, the use of monetary and fiscal policies to smooth business cycle fluctuations has taken a back seat to longer term objectives of restoring price stability and fiscal balance. More recently, however, weaker economic performance in some of the world's economies, most notably in Japan and the United States, has led to renewed interest in the use of short-run stabilization policy. Thus, this year's symposium explored the potential scope for stabilization policy in this new environment. The papers presented at the symposium and the ensuing discussion focused on a number of key issues including: reasons for the renewed interest in stabilization policy, the effectiveness and limitations of stabilization policy, and whether the use of short-run stabilization policy conflicts with the pursuit of longer term macroeconomic objectives. …

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