Macroeconomic Policy Cooperation and the G20

33 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018

See all articles by Adam Triggs

Adam Triggs

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Date Written: May 2018


Has the G20 achieved its goals in macroeconomic cooperation since 2008? The paper organises the G20's efforts under five themes: macroeconomic stimulus, fiscal consolidation, monetary policy, the global financial safety net and global imbalances. The G20 was initially successful in each of these areas, but this success was short‐lived. While the G20 met its goals on macroeconomic stimulus, it has been less successful in reducing deficits and debt. While it was successful in increasing its resources, the global financial safety net remains too small, too fragmented and institutional reform is incomplete. While the G20 succeeded in moving to more market‐determined exchange rates and avoiding competitive devaluations, it struggled to avoid negative spillovers. Despite years of effort, the G20 has made limited progress in reducing global imbalances. Current account imbalances are creeping back to pre‐crisis levels. Public debt remains high and most economies are moving in the wrong direction in correcting imbalances in household savings and debt. The paper concludes that the G20 has done better in some areas than others. But to suggest the G20 is a forum in decline ignores its shift from reactive crisis response to longer‐term structural challenges outside of the pressing need of an immediate crisis.

Keywords: current account, debt and deficits, exchange rates, fiscal consolidation, fiscal stimulus, global financial safety net, global imbalances, international cooperation, macroeconomic policy, monetary policy, trade

JEL Classification: G20

Suggested Citation

Triggs, Adam, Macroeconomic Policy Cooperation and the G20 (May 2018). The World Economy, Vol. 41, Issue 5, pp. 1309-1341, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Adam Triggs (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

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