Brookings Papers on Economic Activity

Articles from No. 2, Fall

Are We Having More Fun Yet? Categorizing and Evaluating Changes in Time Allocation
ARE AMERICANS SPENDING THEIR time in more or less enjoyable ways today than in earlier generations? The answer to this question is central for understanding economic and social progress yet has been elusive and controversial. From 1965-66 to 2005,...
A Tribute to George Perry and William Brainard
YOUNGER READERS OF THIS volume may not appreciate how creative was the invention of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, how much it changed the way applied economics is communicated, and how magic has been its appeal to economists young and...
How Much Do We Understand about the Modern Recession?
MODERN RECESSIONS HIT THE U.S. economy in 1990-91 and in 2001. A modern recession is one occurring in an economy with well-executed monetary policy and a small fraction of the labor force on the factory floor. I review the facts about modern recessions...
In Honor of William Brainard and George Perry
THE BROOKINGS PAPERS ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY is a unique and amazing institution, created by three visionaries, two of whom we thank and appreciate in this volume, George Perry and William Brainard. We should not, however, forget the founding contributions...
Living with Global Imbalances
OVER THE YEARS, the Brookings Panel has focused overwhelmingly on the U.S. economy. That emphasis reflected the principal interests of its founders, Arthur Okun and George Perry. The United States is by far the largest economy in the world, accounting...
Long-Run Changes in the Wage Structure: Narrowing, Widening, Polarizing
FROM THE CLOSE OF WORLD WAR II TO 1970--the year the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity commenced publication--America enjoyed widespread prosperity. Not only did the national economy grow rapidly, driven by robust productivity growth, but all parts...
Low Interest Rates and High Asset Prices: An Interpretation in Terms of Changing Popular Economic Models
MANY HAVE NOTED THAT we appear to be living in an era of low long-term interest rates and high asset prices. Although long-term rates have been increasing in the last few years, rates so far in the twenty-first century are still commonly described...
Monetary Policy Models
Some History I HAVE WRITTEN SEVERAL Brookings Papers looking at the relation of multiple-equation economic models to the process of monetary policy-making. (1) When the first of these papers was written, the impact of the rational expectations critique...
Selected Issues in the Rise of Income Inequality
INCREASED AMERICAN INCOME INEQUALITY, in particular the increased skewness at the very top of the income distribution, has received enormous attention. This paper surveys three aspects of rising inequality that are usually discussed separately: inequality...
Unfinished Business in the Macroeconomics of Low Inflation: A Tribute to George and Bill by Bill and George
THE RETIREMENT OF GEORGE Perry and William Brainard as editors of the Brookings Papers gives us an opportunity to say publicly what we have often said privately: the Brookings Papers is an important national institution. It is important because it...
What We Still Don't Know about Monetary and Fiscal Policy
TWO THOUSAND AND SEVEN may seem an odd moment to question what we know about monetary policy. The past quarter-century has been about as good a run, at least in aggregate dimensions, as one is likely to get--and certainly far superior to what the early...
Who's Afraid of a Big Bad Oil Shock?
WHEN THE UNITED STATES INVADED Iraq in March 2003, many economists feared that the war would lead to a sharp decline in Iraqi oil production, a spike in oil prices, and a woeful U.S. economy that would follow the scripts of the oil shocks of 1973,...
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