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CEP occasional paper
Open Macroeconomics in an Open Economy
Edward Balls
November 1997
Paper No' CEPOP13:
Full Paper (pdf)

There are three pillars of the new Labour Government's approach to economic policy: delivering macroeconomic stability, tackling the supply-side barriers to growth and delivering employment and economic opportunities to all. This lecture focuses on the reforms the new government has introduced in order to deliver macroeconomic stability and why open and transparent institutions and procedures are central to those reforms. The lecture sets out four principles for macroeconomic policymaking which flow from changes in the world economy and the world of economic ideas over the past twenty or thirty years. These are:-- the principle of stability through constrained discretion -- the principle of credibility through sound, long-term policies -- the principle of credibility through maximum transparency -- the principle of credibility through pre-commitment. The lecture explains each principle in turn and shows how they are being translated into practice in the macroeconomic policy reforms that the new government is introducing at the Treasury and the Bank of reforms which add up to what is now probably one of the most open and accountable system of economic policymaking in the world.