Editorial, NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997

Ben S. Bernanke, Julio J. Rotemberg
1997 NBER macroeconomics annual  
The 1997 edition of the NBER Macroeconomics Annual contains, as usual, a mixture of policy-focused research and studies of broader positive issues within macroeconomics. Two of the papers are concerned with fiscal policy: Michael Gavin and Roberto Perotti provide a comprehensive new data set on fiscal policy in Latin America, which they use both to characterize the cyclical behavior of government budgets in that region and to develop some hypotheses about the determinants of that behavior. On
more » ... that behavior. On the domestic fiscal front, Martin Feldstein and Andrew Samwick propose an approach for changing the U.S. social security system from its current "pay-as-you-go" format to a fully funded program, and they discuss the likely effects of this change on the U.S. economy. The volume also includes two papers on monetary policy: Marvin Goodfriend and Robert King draw some lessons for monetary policy from what they perceive to be a new consensus among research-oriented macroeconomists, which they dub the "new neoclassical synthesis"; and Julio Rotemberg and Michael Woodford compute the properties of optimal monetary policies for a dynamic sticky-price model of the U.S. economy. Finally, this issue of the Macro Annual includes two papers on big issues of positive economics, as Peter Klenow and Andres Rodriguez revisit the question of why rates of economic growth differ across countries, and Christopher Carroll and Wendy Dunn seek to understand how consumer debt and asset holdings help determine the evolution of aggregate consumption. Gavin and Perotti have painstakingly assembled data on consolidated government receipts and expenditures for thirteen Latin American countries. Based on these data, the authors demonstrate that there are large differences between the typical cyclical behavior of fiscal variables in Latin America and that found in the major industrial countries. The most
doi:10.1086/654318 fatcat:aafcccjkarfadnf7u7rlwpr5zi