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Globalization in an Age of CrisisMultilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century$
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Robert C. Feenstra and Alan M. Taylor

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226030753

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226030890.001.0001

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International Policy Coordination: The Long View

International Policy Coordination: The Long View

(p.43) 2 International Policy Coordination: The Long View
Globalization in an Age of Crisis

Barry Eichengreen

University of Chicago Press

The chapter takes a long view of the evolution of macroeconomic policy coordination. The record shows that coordination is more likely in limited technical areas, when there is institutional support, when it is needed to preserve an existing regime from failure, and when nations are not in conflict on other issues. For example, as the classical gold standard matured, although policymakers had not overtly created the regime, once it was there they had a stake in its continued smooth operation. It was the outbreak of wars and the Depression that derailed the gold standard. Only in the wake of these failures did more serious efforts take hold as conflict abated and the costs of earlier mistakes loomed large, with Bretton Woods system and later the EU project. The gaps between the technocratic solutions and political realities, in the U.S., Europe, China, or elsewhere, have often been a key stumbling block. In 2008–09, central bank and G20 cooperation showed that grave enough dangers could focus minds, but once the cliff edge receded problems of collective action resurfaced. International macroeconomic cooperation remains as fragile as ever.

Keywords:   Macroeconomic policy, Coordination, Gold standard, Bretton Woods

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