The coronavirus has been in the news, with its relatively rapid spread a cause for concern. This has important welfare and wellbeing effects associated with the pain people might experience due to the coronavirus.
However, today I am going to discuss how we can think about the consequences of a disease outbreak for the general economy – or in terms of broad macro stabilisation or monetary policy.
These lessons can help us understand some of the broad consequences of a disease outbreak which can then be extended to ask other policy related questions (eg how the virus might disproportionately affect industry sectors in NZ, what areas are harm reduction policies particularly important).Read more
Former Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King is suggesting that “Economics Needs a Post-Crash Revolution” in a seeming admission that current frameworks don’t work in a world of radical uncertainty and necessary reallocation.
Is the former BOE governor and academic icon correct, or is this an unfair critique of the mainstream? As a summary, I have two issues with his argument:
- Reallocation does not have anything to do with “average demand”, which is predominantly a monetary policy issue,
- If excessive reallocation is necessary and requires government assistance, where are the “high return” industries that need reallocation to them?
Let me explain.Read more
While the concept of quantitative easing has received a lot of attention amongst economists, qualitative easing was not as widely discussed. Qualitative easing is a monetary easing program that was used by Japan in 2013 and represents some elements of the QE programmes in the US.
The outline of how it works is well described here, and so I want to focus a little bit more on why.Read more
Last time we noted the following regarding thinking about NGDP level targeting:
To understand what is going on we need to ask what expectations are being “set”, what is the “target” and how do these reflect what a central bank can “do”?
Expectations: We know they can be adaptive (backward looking) or rational (forward looking), but what do they refer to? Are people making choices based on expected prices, or are they making choices based on expected incomes? Do they view shocks as permanent or temporary?
Target: Is the goal to anchor the price level, or to anchor the level of expected nominal income growth? Is it to limit variability in prices and output?
What they do: If a central bank wants to increase prices can it, if it wants to increase nominal incomes can it? If they can do both, how does this influence their ability to “close output gaps”?
Here I want to discuss a little more about expectations.Read more
Thanks to Dr. Kirdan Lees for prompting me to write today’s post. Today’s topic of discussion is nominal income targeting.
What is nominal income targeting?
Nominal income targeting is usually viewed as an alternative monetary strategy to inflation targeting, and has never explicitly been applied in practice by any central bank. However, there is an overwhelming amount of literature discussing this monetary policy tool and how it compares to the flexible (inflation) targeting.Read more