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Investigating ‘Secular Stagnation’

The current low-to-zero growth malaise afflicting the United States and other advanced economies, which appears unresponsive to conventional monetary policy remedies, has been explained as a case of “secular stagnation” by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, beginning with an important IMF speech in November 2013. A broad array of work has been inspired by Summers challenge to conventional macroeconomic dynamics.

The Institute for New Economic Thinking last week launched an important research initiative to investigate that hypothesis, inviting a number of accomplished scholars to examine different aspects of the low-growth phenomenon, its causes, and the potential challenges presented by different policy responses. The research initiative was launched at an event on Friday October 7 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in which Institute President Rob Johnson hosted a far-reaching analytical and policy conversation between Summers and Adair Turner, Chairman of the Institute’s Governing Board and an internationally respected former head of Britain’s Financial Services Authority.

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