Publication Date

12-1-2011

Abstract

[Excerpt] There is concern that this time the U.S. economy will either not return to its pre-recession growth path but perhaps remain permanently below it, or return to the pre-crisis path but at a slower than normal pace. Problems on the supply side and the demand side of the economy has so far led to a weaker than normal recovery.

If the pace of private spending proves insufficient to assure a sustained recovery, would further stimulus by monetary and fiscal policy be warranted? One of the important lessons from the Great Depression is to guard against a too hasty withdrawal of fiscal and monetary stimulus in an economy recovering from a deep decline. The removal of fiscal and monetary stimulus in 1937 is thought to have stopped a recovery and caused a slump that did not end until WWII.

Opponents of further stimulus maintain that the accumulation of additional government debt would lower future economic growth, but supporters argue that additional stimulus is the appropriate near-term policy.

Comments

Suggested Citation

Elwell, C. K. (2011). Economic recovery: Sustaining U.S. economic growth in a post-crisis economy [Electronic version]. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.

A more recent version of this report can be found here: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/key_workplace/1106

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