What are the big questions in macroeconomics right now? Well there’s the unprecedented assault on Russia’s financial architecture, that’s quite topical. We usually study how to avoid financial crises, not how to start them. How do a tank a central bank? Just a few weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the big news was the return of inflation. After a decade or so of ‘secular stagnation’ and fears of deflation, consumer prices across the world are rocketing up. Is this just a hangover from COVID, or is there more to it? How should we plan our lives around inflation expectations? Wind the clock back a little bit further and macroeconomists were very puzzled by productivity. As Nobel Laureate Bob Solow said: “you can see the impact of computers everywhere except the productivity data”. Why’s that? Is it just really hard to measure productivity in the digital and service sector economy, or it productivity really going to flatlining, with implications in turn for the heart rate of our economies? And finally, if we really wind the clock back all the way to 2008 (just yesterday really), then the big question is how has macroeconomics updated itself in the wake of the biggest loss of confident in the discipline in decades?
Here to answer all these questions is Dr Adam Triggs, a man with a very long signature block. He is director at the Canberra office of AlphaBeta, an economic consulting firm within Accenture Strategy, non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, a visiting fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy in the Australian National University, a fellow at Macquarie University’s e61 institute, and a columnist for the Canberra times. All these hot shot agencies want Adam’s insights, and he’s giving them away to you for free on ePODstemology. Do tune in.
Adam’s website: https://adamtriggs.com/resume/
Cambridge’s Diane Coyle provides an overview of the productivity puzzle:
Noah Smith interviews Emi Nakamura: