Time for a Plan C? Slow growth and living standards

Published on Incomes and Inequality

There is an increasingly rich intellectual debate about the risks, or for some the reality, of an extended period of low growth; a so called great stagnation. But, for all this intellectual ferment, there is, alas, only a stunted discussion about what we can do to overcome this challenge, and even less of one about the likely distributional consequences. If we do face a prolonged stagnation – and it’s still far from clear that we will – then any so-called Plan C certainly does not come pre-cooked.

Just as the crisis has turned upside down conventional thinking on macro policy, the same may have to go for other elements of our policy discourse if we have to navigate our way through what could be a stagnant post-crisis decade whilst minimising the social fall out.