There are several reasons why it has become important to rethink economic policy. Out of the European perspective it is the new currency, the enlargement towards Central and Eastern European countries, the sluggish growth and the end of productivity convergence towards the USA and the insufficient creation of employment. From the transatlantic perspective increasing differences in the economic policy and the potential rise of conflicts between Europe and the USA, for example, in trade, competition and health issues are important. The current volume touches most, but not all of these topics. It starts with the overview by Joseph Stiglitz on policy issues. Then macroeconomics policy is discussed, followed by the problem of an ageing society and European enlargement. Differences between Europe and the USA are large in taxation and in the role of public finance. The relative competitiveness of countries as well as of Europe will be decided by investments into new technologies and progression towards the Science Based Economy. In the final section the role of economists in shaping the economic agenda and giving policy advice is discussed.
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