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Credible Keynesianism? New Labour macroeconomic policy and the political economy of coarse tuning \ud

By Ben Clift and Jim Tomlinson

Abstract

This article questions prevailing interpretations of New Labour's political economy and challenges the assumption within the comparative and international political economy literatures of the exhaustion of the Keynesian political economic paradigm. New Labour's doctrinal statements are analysed to establish to what extent these doctrinal positions involve a repudiation of Keynesianism. Although New Labour has explicitly renounced the ‘fine tuning’ often (somewhat problematically) associated with post-war Keynesian political economy, we argue that they have carved out policy space in which to engage in macroeconomic ‘coarse tuning’ inspired by Keynesian thinking. This capacity to ‘coarse tune’ is precisely what is being sought in New Labour's quest for credibility through the redesign of British macroeconomic policy framework and institutions. Our empirical focus on New Labour in government since 1997 offers considerable evidence that this search for the capacity to ‘coarse tune’ has been successful

Topics: HB, HJ
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:654

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