Monitoring the So-Called Recovery:
And that is all he says.
We know Greg Mankiw is opposed to more expansionary fiscal policy right now.
What does he say about more expansionary monetary policy by the Federal Reserve?
Barely a word that I can find:
Google: "site:gregmankiw.blogspot.com 'Federal Reserve'": results for the past year:
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Macro 8e (March 2012): The 8th edition of my intermediate macroeconomics text will come out in June, ready for fall classes. One significant change in this edition is that some of the existing material has been reorganized…. [P]olicymakers at the Federal Reserve have engaged in a variety of unconventional measures to prop up a weak banking system and promote recovery from a deep recession. Understanding these policies requires a strong background in the details of the monetary system. As a result, this edition covers the topic earlier in the book…. The biggest change in the book, however, is the addition of Chapter 20, “The Financial System: Opportunities and Dangers.”…
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Professor Bernanke teaches the world (February 2012): A friend in the Federal Reserve sends along the following information: "The Federal Reserve Board announced on Thursday that Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will deliver a series of lectures aimed at college students."…
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Jeremy Stein to the Fed (December 2011): President Obama has nominated my Harvard colleague Jeremy Stein to become a Federal Reserve Governor. This is an excellent choice. Congratulations, Jeremy! (The President has also nominated Jerome Powell, whom I do not know.)
Google: "site:gregmankiw.blogspot.com Bernanke": additional results for the past year:
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Ben and the Bound: There has been a lot of chatter lately about monetary policy under Ben Bernanke's leadership and how his Fed has dealt with the zero lower bound on interest rates. One of the more thoughtful analyses of this topic I have seen is this paper by Larry Ball.
Greg Mankiw's Blog: A Profile of Ben Bernanke: From the always reliable Roger Lowenstein.
Greg Mankiw's Blog: What do Larry Summers, Doug Elmendorf, and Greg Mankiw have in common?: Only one of us won a John Bates Clark Medal. Only one of us is Director of the Congressional Budget Office. Only one of us wrote a best-selling textbook. But all three of us were ec 10 section leaders early in our careers. Being an ec 10 section leader is one of the best teaching jobs at Harvard. You can revisit the principles of economics, mentor some of the world’s best undergraduates, and hone your speaking skills. In your section, you might even have the next Andrei Shleifer or Ben Bernanke (two well-known ec 10 alums). And believe it or not, we even pay you for this!…
Since Mankiw is neither publicly recommending more expansionary fiscal policy nor publicly recommending more expansionary monetary policy, a reasonable person might infer that he is happy with the trajectory of the employment-to-population. But then why the "so-called recovery"? Why not something like "the trajectory of the employment-to-population ratio is optimal given the inflation outlook"?
The more probable conclusion a reasonable person might infer is that Greg Mankiw regards himself as under Republican message discipline--eager to send the message that Obama has done a lousy job at managing the economy without sending the message that Romney and the other Republicans have materially harmed the economy by straining every nerve and muscle to oppose and block the more-expansionary fiscal and monetary policies that would have made the employment situation better. That is a very hard needle to thread indeed…
I am today very glad that, back when I was a young bipartisan economist--believing then that Democratic sins of attachment to policies of overregulation were likely to be somewhat more destructive than Republican sins of capture by the rich--I chose to sign up with the Democratic rather than the Republican Party because:
it seemed that the Democratic Party needed good economists more; and
it seemed that Lyndon Johnson's decision to take the Democratic Party all-in on civil rights was an act of great statesmanship that deserved to be rewarded electorally.
(1) was, I think, wrong. (2) was, I think, clearly right.
And I am today very glad that my hunger for high federal office is a limited one…