In the Spring/Summer 2019 issue, we explore how old questions are tackled with new technology. In recent years we have witnessed unprecedented technological progress—such as digitalization, automation, machine learning, and big data—and its applications for everyday life. At the same time, we are seeing a remarkable slowdown in global economic activity after a few years of steady upswing. Policy and political uncertainties in many parts of the world remain high, while challenges such as climate change loom over the longer horizon. The time is right for policymakers to work cooperatively both nationally and internationally to help ward off downside risks and ensure effective policy support.
How will policymakers tackle reemerging yet long-standing economic issues, such as productivity, market failure, and resource allocation? What insights do new data and methodologies offer? The articles in this issue discuss the many ways technological progress and increased data availability have helped, as well as remaining challenges to making the best use of new technologies for analysis and judgment. In this way, policy can be evidence-based, proactively address risks and vulnerabilities, and lead to sustainable growth. ~Yuko Hashimoto