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Download Change and Habit (Global Thinkers) by Arnold J. Toynbee PDF

By Arnold J. Toynbee

Proposes the convincing argument that adverse conduct can he swap and needs to be if the worldwide difficulties now confronting us are to he solved.

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With regard to the effectiveness of policy, there are indeed variables on which it is difficult to exert a direct impact, at least in the short term. It is, for instance, difficult to influence global population size or the price of crude oil. Looking more broadly at supply side variables, policy-makers in market economies have shown themselves to have only a very limited influence over these. In any case the contribution of such factors as education, and therefore the quality of the work force, and capital formation to economic growth is not well defined nor the process of technical progress fully understood.

As measured by the difference between the 'cyclically neutral' fiscal balance and the unadjusted fiscal balance. For further information on the derivation of these figures, see World Economic Outlook, 1983, Appendix A2, pp 110-11. SouRCE: World Economic Outlook, IMF, Washington, 1983. 40 The Background to Reform Two factors lend some credence to this explanation of world economic performance, particularly in the 1980s. 8 shows, fiscal policy in a significant number of industrial countries did indeed inject a contractionary impulse; and superficially at least the evidence seems to suggest that the recession was most marked in those economies where fiscal policy was most contractionary.

During the 1970s and early 1980s this was the approach adopted. In general, governments showed themselves reluctant to expand domestic demand for fear of the effect on inflation and their balance of payments. Unilateral policy therefore tended to be contractionary. As might have been expected, the policy had a beneficial effect on inflation but an adverse effect on practically all the world's other economic problems. One is forced to ask whether the benefits of such a policy outweigh the costs and indeed whether there are not better ways of reducing inflation.

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