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Commentary on three papers\ud

By Andrew J. Oswald


Let me start with “The Slump, the Recovery, and the New Normal” by\ud Edmund Phelps. With this stone, I would like to hope that I am killing two birds:\ud Ned Phelps’s paper is, in part, a non-mathematical version of the\ud “Macroeconomic Effects of Over-Investment in Housing in an Aggregative\ud Model of Economic Activity”, written by Hian Teck Hoon. The first paper is in\ud words; the second has some words and, in parts, some Hamiltonians.\ud Both papers are extraordinarily stimulating. Both bear on the issues of the\ud day.\ud A key thing to say, and admire, about the first paper is the fact that in a\ud fairly readable way — not that it will be an effortless read for the non-economist\ud — it addresses the great macroeconomic issue of our time. Why did the\ud remarkable financial crisis of the first decade of the 2000s come about, and what\ud happens next? Phelps begins by pointing out that we experienced a major\ud contraction before in the post-war era, namely, during the severe downturn that\ud began around the mid 1970s and took unemployment levels to a frightening point\ud seen by few living worker (in my country, the UK, unemployment was 12% of the\ud labour force by the year 1983). That crisis took place as I was in the middle of\ud college; it encouraged in me an interest in economics

Topics: HC
Publisher: Berkeley Electronic Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3733

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