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Structural Policies

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kloey945
Words 1617
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BACK TO BASICS

What Are Structural
Policies?
Monetary and fiscal policies deal with short-term economic fluctuations, but an economy’s problems often go deeper
Khaled Abdel-Kader

E

CONOMIES can get out of whack for a variety of reasons. Policymakers, in turn, have a number of ways to try to fix them, depending on what is wrong. For example, when prices are rising too fast and consumers and businesses are buying at a rate that exceeds an economy’s underlying ability to produce goods and services—that is, overall demand is growing too fast—policymakers can take steps to reduce demand. Similarly, during economic downturns, when businesses and consumers close their wallets—aggregate demand is shrinking—governments can take steps to encourage them to open their pocketbooks or substitute government spending for diminished private spending.
Such government actions are called demand management or stabilization policies.
Sometimes an economy’s problems are deeper and longer lasting than excessive or inadequate demand, usually as a result of government policies or private practices that impede efficient and fair production of goods and services—that is, supply. Fixing such problems can require changes to the fabric of the economy, called structural policies.
Stabilization policies are important in the short run, because it is easier to alter the various components of overall demand for a short time than it is to make a country’s resources more productive. Stabilization policies include taxing and spending actions (see “What Is Fiscal Policy?”
F&D, June 2009) and changes to interest rates and the money supply (see “What Is Monetary Policy?” F&D, September
2009).When longer-term, structural changes are required to improve aggregate supply, governments must address specific impediments. This may involve the core structure of the economy, such...

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