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Hardcover | $20.95 Trade | £14.95 | ISBN: 9780262017619 | 174 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 1 b&w illus, 35 figures, 4 tables| February 2012

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In the Wake of the Crisis

Leading Economists Reassess Economic Policy


In 2011, the International Monetary Fund invited prominent economists and economic policy makers to consider the brave new world of the post-crisis global economy. The result is a book that captures the state of macroeconomic thinking at a transformational moment.

The crisis and the weak recovery that has followed raise fundamental questions concerning macroeconomics and economic policy. For instance, to what extent are financial markets efficient and self-correcting? How crucial is low and stable inflation for growth and the real stability of the economy? How strong is the case for open capital markets? Too often, the standard models provided insufficient guidance on how to respond to the unprecedented situations created by the crisis. As a result, policy makers have been forced to improvise. What to do when interest rates reach the zero floor? How best to provide liquidity to segmented financial institutions and markets? How much to use fiscal policy starting from high levels of debt?

These top economists discuss future directions for monetary policy, fiscal policy, financial regulation, capital account management, growth strategies, and the international monetary system, and the economic models that should underpin thinking about critical policy choices. Among the new realities they consider are the swing of the pendulum toward regulation; the need for new theoretical approaches, incorporating advances in agency theory, behavioral economics, and understanding of credit markets and finance based on theories of imperfect information; and the importance for macroeconomic policy to target not just inflation but also output and financial stability.

About the Editors

Olivier Blanchard is Robert Solow Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Economic Counselor and Director of the Research Department at the International Monetary Fund. 

David Romer is Herman Royer Professor of Political Economy at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Michael Spence, co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, is Professor Emeritus of Management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and Professor of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He served as Chairman of the Commission on Growth and Development from 2006 to 2010 (the life of the commission). He is the author of The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World.

Joseph Stiglitz, a 2001 Nobel Laureate, is University Professor at Columbia University. 


“This collection of specialized papers, written by well-known scholars in their fields of macroeconomics, does an excellent job of not only explaining the financial crisis but also answering some of the concerns that policy makers have raised regarding the effectiveness of both monetary and fiscal policy.” R. M. Ramazani, Choice