(Edited with George L. Perry) In November 1999 the Brookings Institution and Yale University jointly sponsored a conference to reconsider the national economic policies of the 1960s and the theories that influenced them, in light of subsequent events in the economy and of developments in economic theory and research. This volume contains the papers and comments of the participants. The 1960s were years of diﬀicult challenges to U.S. policymakers and of important initiatives to meet them. The economic doldrums at the start of the decade gave way to strong expansion and prosperity, which, however, ended with excessive inflation. The decade that followed was the most turbulent of the postwar period, with global shock waves from oil prices, two deep recessions, and historic changes in the international ﬁnancial system. Both policymaking and economic thinking have evolved since the 1960s. The papers gathered in this volume examine the economics of the 1960s as the starting point in this evolution.
Several of the contributors to this volume were involved in policymaking in the 1960s. Their papers provide ﬁrsthand insights to the analyses and priorities of that period and a prelude to examination of subsequent ideas and policies. Younger scholars represented in the volume bring diﬀerent perspectives. All participants have been active in economic research since the 1960s; collectively they represent a wide range of expertise in economic analysis.This volume is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Okun, a major ﬁgure in economics and economic policy throughout the Kennedy-Johnson era, at Yale, at the Council on Economic Advisers, and at Brookings. He served as chairman of the council and chief economic adviser to President Johnson. At Brookings, he and George Perry founded the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity and its journal, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.