Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is the ECB Reverting to Form?

The European Central Bank, which had at last seemed to recognize the gravity of the crisis, may now be retrenching. The Fed is still cutting, but the ECB is "wary of taking rates too low," according to Jean-Claude Trichet. Trichet has also raised the specter of "Ricardian equivalence," the idea that government borrowing to finance deficit spending influences expectations, with the result that investor confidence is depressed rather than augmented. This is by no means a settled issue. Tyler Cowen calls attention to a recent paper. This paper by Blanchard and Perotti offers another look. And here's a recent paper by Perotti. Clearly the matter is not settled, and Trichet's caution reflects the ECB's traditional bias.

2 comments:

bernard said...

Trichet personally and Banque de France research departement people were already fond of Ricardian equivalence 15 years ago...

This, like the life cycle savings hypothesis (DSK's subject in his initial, academic career), are very interesting and appealing concepts on a theoretical level which, fortunately or unfortunately, have not received convincing empirical validation. Which, of course, means that they remain superb subjects for researchers and PHD candidates !

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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