Credible interventionism: economic ideas of government and macroeconomic policy in the Great Recession

Ronen Mandelkern, Tami Oren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The macroeconomic policies of advanced economies during the Great Recession were characterised by a curious mixture of unconventional market interventions executed through depoliticised governance structures. We explain this phenomenon by developing a theoretical framework that focuses on the ideational and institutional influence of government-related economic ideas by combining insights of constructivist institutionalism and historical institutionalism. Specifically, we argue that the dominant government-related idea of ‘policy credibility’–the need to convince markets of government commitment to refrain from ‘politicised’ interventions–was crucial for the adoption of depoliticised macroeconomic interventionism. The ideational dominance of ‘policy credibility’ and its pre-crisis institutionalisation enabled significant policy interventions as long as depoliticised decision-making was maintained and consolidated. We demonstrate this argument through a comparative in-depth analysis of monetary and fiscal policy in two very different cases among advanced economies–the UK and Israel.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Political Economy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Depoliticisation
  • economic governance
  • economic ideas
  • macroeconomic policy
  • policy credibility

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