Found 13 article(s) for author 'Benjamin Friedman'

Benjamin Friedman on the Future of Productivity Growth in America, the True Meaning of Sustainable Economic Growth, and Keynes’s “Grandchildren”

Benjamin Friedman on the Future of Productivity Growth in America, the True Meaning of Sustainable Economic Growth, and Keynes’s “Grandchildren” June 2019. GrowthPolicy’s Devjani Roy interviewed Benjamin Friedman, William Joseph Maier Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University, on the future of productivity growth in America, the true meaning of sustainable economic growth, and J. […]

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A Century of Growth and Improvement

A Century of Growth and Improvement. Benjamin Friedman, May 2016, Paper. “The fact that actual economic advance over time normally means producing and consuming different things is usually left implicit in modern models of economic growth. By contrast, qualitative change–new goods and services, and better versions of what already existed–is central to Robert Gordon’s history of the improvement of American living standards since 1870. A major contribution of his fine-grained account of this experience is to make clear what this improvement has meant, and why it has mattered to ordinary citizens.Link

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Work and Consumption in an Era of Unbalanced Technological Advance

Work and Consumption in an Era of Unbalanced Technological Advance. Benjamin Friedman, November 9, 2015, Paper. “Keynes’s “Grandchildren” essay famously predicted both a rapid increase in productivity and a sharp shrinkage of the workweek – to 15 h – over the century from 1930. Keynes was right (so far) about output per capita, but wrong about the workweek. The key reason is that he failed to allow for changing distribution. With widening inequality, median income (and therefore the income of most families) has risen, and is now rising, much more slowly than he anticipated. The failure of the workweek to shrink as he predicted follows. Other factors, including habit formation, socially induced consumption preferences, and network effects are part of the story too. Combining the analysis of Keynes, Meade and Galbraith suggests a way forward for economic policy under the prevailing circumstances.Link

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The Pathology of Europe’s Debt

The Pathology of Europe’s Debt. Benjamin Friedman, October 9, 2014, Paper. “The article focuses on debt crisis experienced by European Union countries in global financial crisis of 2008-2009. It highlights that the European Central Bank (ECB) lowered the interest rates and provided cheap loans to maintain money flows between European banks. It presents views of American economist James Tobin on the same and highlights supports given by France and Germany to governments of Portugal and Greece, allowing them to…” Link

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Has the Financial Crisis Permanently Changed the Practice of Monetary Policy? Has It Changed the Theory of Monetary Policy?

Has the Financial Crisis Permanently Changed the Practice of Monetary Policy? Has It Changed the Theory of Monetary Policy? Benjamin Friedman, May 2014, Paper. “I argue in this paper that one of the two forms of hitherto unconventional monetary policy that many central banks have implemented in response to the 2007 financial crisis – large-scale asset purchases, or to put the matter more generically, use of the central bank’s balance sheet as a distinct tool of monetary policy – is likely to become part of the standard toolkit of monetary policymaking in normal times as well. As intended, these purchases have lowered long-term…Link

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The Simple Analytics of Monetary Policy: A Post-Crisis Approach

The Simple Analytics of Monetary Policy: A Post-Crisis Approach. Benjamin Friedman, January 2013, Paper. “The financial crisis that struck most of the world’s advanced industrialized economies during 2007-09 has presented a major challenge for economists concerned with economic fluctuations, and especially for those interested in the workings of monetary policy. By many measures the crisis constituted the most significant macroeconomic event since World War II. Further, the origin of these events (as the label suggests) was squarely in the financial sector, and the policy actions…”  Link verified March 28, 2014

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Financial Stability and Responsive Monetary Policy: Resolving a Dynamic Incompatibility

Financial Stability and Responsive Monetary Policy: Resolving a Dynamic Incompatibility. Benjamin Friedman, February 1, 2012, Paper. “In the wake of the 2007-9 financial crisis a narrative has emerged, especially for the United States, that poses a new challenge to the joint conduct of monetary policy and financial regulation. This narrative places much of the blame for the crisis, and therefore the economic costs that the aftermath of the crisis inflicted (and continues to inflict) not just in the U.S. but elsewhere around the world as well, on the easy monetary policy that the U.S. Federal Reserve System pursued during the early years of that decade…” Link

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Is our Economy’s Financial Sector Worth What it Costs Us?

Is our Economy’s Financial Sector Worth What it Costs Us? Benjamin Friedman, November 11, 2011, Opinion. “In 1867, when the American economy was still largely agricultural, Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, threw out the following challenge in a lecture that he gave in lower Manhattan: “There are 500,000 farmers, probably, in the State of New York to-day, who, if you were to ask each of them how much per bushel his corn had cost him to grow for the last twenty years, I doubt if fifty of the 500,000 could tell you. And this is but one instance out of ten thousand. Now, every grower of agricultural products…” Link

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The No-Growth Trap

The No-Growth Trap. Benjamin Friedman, November 2011, Opinion. “Well before the summer’s horrific shootings in Norway, many citizens of the Western democracies had the sense that the social fabric was fraying in unexpected places. The Danes restricted immigration in violation of the European Union’s Schengen Agreement. The lower house of the Dutch parliament voted—by nearly four to one—to outlaw ritual Muslim butchers (and, along the way, kosher butchers too). The French banned burkas in the streets. The Swiss banned minarets. In America, we are fighting over whether to build a wall between Texas and Mexico…” Link

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Struggling to Escape from ‘Assumption 14’

Struggling to Escape from ‘Assumption 14.’ Benjamin Friedman, May 1, 2011, Book Chapter. “At least four hypotheses, none mutually exclusive, have emerged to explain the origins of the financial crisis that began in the United States in 2007: (1) Managers of financial institutions, or their employees, may have engaged in criminal activity. (2) Principal/agent conflicts may have given the managers of financial institutions incentives to undertake activities that, though legal, nonetheless exposed their institutions and their shareholders to excessive risk that the shareholders would not have chosen. (3) The operation of government in a variety of ways – ranging from specific lender-of-last-resort actions and policies fostering homebuilding and home ownership to matters as general as limited liability – may have given both managers and shareholders incentives to put their institutions, and ultimately the taxpayers and the economy, at excessive risk. (4) Participants in the relevant financial markets, especially including mortgage borrowers, originators, securitizers and investors, may not have understood the risks inherent in the positions they and their institutions were taking …” Link

 

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