Policy Seminar with Robert Kaplan

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
George Shultz Conference Room, Herbert Hoover Memorial Building

Robert Kaplan, James Hoard, Irfan Taj, Michael Boskin, Elizabeth Cobbs, Tom Gilligan, John Gunn, Rick Hanushek, Dan Kessler, Mark Koyama, Roman Kraeussl, Lee Lockwood, David Mulford, Michael Nordeen, Rebecca Ore, Elena Pastorino, Josh Rauh, Michael Schoonover, George Shultz, Richard Sousa

Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, discussed “Current Economic Conditions and the Impacts of Monetary Policy.” 

At the lunch, Robert Kaplan discussed some of the secular determinants of long-term trends in economic growth. He pointed to four main factors: 1.) the slowing of the growth of the workforce due to an aging population; 2.) technology enabled disruption and its effects on the labor force; 3.) globalization and pressures it has exerted on labor and capital markets; 4.) rising debt to GDP ratios.

An initial topic of discussion was why evidence of wage pressure has been scant despite the apparent skills gap faced by companies across the economy, and particularly by small firms that do not have the scale to run their own training programs. Hoover Fellows then asked questions about the scale of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and operations, the potential impacts of an unwinding of the Fed’s balance sheet on labor and capital markets, and the impact of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and three-dimensional printing on these markets. The tension between focusing on short-term cyclical factors and long-term structural factors was discussed.

- Josh Rauh

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