Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

The Global Economy’s Hesitation Blues

Economic slowdowns can often be characterized as periods of hesitation: consumers hesitate to buy a new house or car, thinking that the old house or car will do just fine for a while longer. Viewed from this perspective, how worried should we be about the effects of hesitation today?

NEW HAVEN – Economic slowdowns can often be characterized as periods of hesitation. Consumers hesitate to buy a new house or car, thinking that the old house or car will do just fine for a while longer. Managers hesitate to expand their workforce, buy a new office building, or build a new factory, waiting for news that will make them stop worrying about committing to new ideas. Viewed from this perspective, how worried should we be about the effects of hesitation today?

Hesitation is often like procrastination. One may have vague doubts and feel a need to mull things over; meanwhile, other issues intrude on thought and no decision is taken. Ask people why they procrastinate, and you probably won’t get a crisp answer.

So how does such behavior become sufficiently widespread to bring about an economic slump? In fact, the reasons for postponing activities that would stimulate the economy may be difficult to discern.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/aolW6zj;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.