Mark Thirlwell takes a look at some of the key economic policy challenges currently facing American policymakers.
Not that long ago, economists considering a career in the area of applied international macroeconomics might have found themselves debating whether to focus on developed or emerging markets. Developed markets offered the obvious attraction of being the most important parts of the world economy, but came with the downside that – by and large – they were rather predictable: economic growth would be close to the long-term trend with an adjustment up or down depending on the stage of the business cycle, and recessions and recoveries were relatively orderly (almost predictable) affairs. Emerging markets, on the other hand, seemed to offer something different. While not as central to the world economy, there was the prospect of more excitement: growth rates that could surge or plummet; economic miracles and economic catastrophes; and the prospects of dramatic financial crises, debt blowouts and sovereign downgrades.
Times have changed.
Today, we are in of one of those periods when people worry about the future of the US economy. Actually, we are in the midst of a period where people are fretting about a whole range of economies, with the Eurozone top of a disturbingly long list. Still, there’s certainly plenty of economic angst being directed at the United States.
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