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CASE REPORT
Macroeconomics and social dimension
 
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Nuffield College, Oxford
Publication date: 2020-06-08
 
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2001;3:45–66
 
ABSTRACT
We can no longer assume that social and economic policy work in harmony. Changes in the labour market and in economic behaviour mean that there may be conflict between the achievement of social and of macroeconomic goals, or that the structure of social policy design can affect economic performance. But even though the economic circumstances have changed, the need for integration of economic and social policy-making remains - indeed it has become more important. Where there is conflict, we need to consider how social policy and macroeconomic variables impinge on human welfare. In the macroeconomic case, this means tracing the links between intermediate objectives such as reducing inflation or unemployment and the fundamental goal of raising human welfare. These links can be highly complex, and are not easily considered at arms length. The setting of a poverty target alongside those for inflation, and unemployment means that governments cannot set macroeconomic policy first and only afterwards consider its social consequences. A review of a country’s econom ic performance cannot neglect the social dimension. In short, we need to return to a situation where macro-economists are concerned not only with inflation, unemployment, growth - but also with the war on poverty.
 
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ISSN:1640-1808