Macroeconomic Policy Formulation: The Driver of Economic Welfare in Ghana
Dialogue on the effects of macroeconomic policies relative to the welfare of citizens has remained virtually unchanged since time immemorial. These economic policy discussions have had different dimensions, from subjective to objective welfare. As a contribution to literature, this paper thoughtfully wades into this discourse with a specific reference to national policies on nominal GDP growth rate, inflation, and unemployment and how they interact to impact the welfare of citizens. It is common knowledge that macroeconomic policy decisions affect the very survival of citizens; however, it is unclear how policymakers communicate the long-term impact of these blueprints on the livelihoods of citizens to the implementing authorities. What is in the public domain are seminal reports on nominal annual rates of these macroeconomic variables, which are thought to either imply an improvement or a deterioration in the well-being of citizens. Indeed, not every gain in nominal rates, particularly GDP, can be construed as an improvement in the economic well-being of citizens. This study questions whether different approaches to designing and implementing macroeconomic policies are the reasons for the mismatch in the living standards of people around the world, or whether the free market economy, which is deficient in developing people's capabilities, is rather dictating the well-being of citizens. The vector error correction model (VECM) results indicate that economic growth (using GDP as a proxy) has a negative effect on welfare in the long run. As such, we believe that national governments should establish and implement comprehensive and long-term macroeconomic policies capable of boosting the welfare of citizens through creating jobs of all varieties, because mere annual gains in macroeconomic indicators do not realistically reflect the economic welfare of the citizenry.
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