The study of economics encompasses two broad categories -- macroeconomics and microeconomics. Macroeconomics encompasses the study of the workings of the broader economy, rather than the study of individual economic units that microeconomics deals with. Macroeconomics aspects, such as business cycles, offer great scope for study in research papers dealing with macroeconomics topics.
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Monetary Policy Consequences
Monetary policy refers to the actions taken by a country's central bank to achieve certain economic goals. The goal could be to stimulate the economy or to deflate it. If a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, seeks to stimulate an economy, it could do this by, for instance, targeting low interest rates to encourage borrowing. To put the brakes on an economy that a central bank deems to be heated up, it could raise its interest rate target. These actions by central banks have consequences and a research paper could study such consequences.
Managing the Public Debt
Government spending sometimes exceeds its income, leading to a government having to borrow money from the public. Governments typically issue bonds to raise such funding. The United States government issues Treasury bonds. Research in this area could look at whether an independent agency is necessary to manage the public debt. In Ireland, for instance, the National Treasury Management Agency, an independent agency, manages the country's national debt. The research could look at the advantages and disadvantages of having an agency undertake this operation.
A business cycle in economics refers to a period of robust economic growth followed by a downturn. These cycles are common in capitalist economies. In the United States, for instance, the economy went into recession in 2007 following the collapse of the housing market. A research paper on business cycles could study how these business cycle fluctuations come about and how they affect an economy. One topic would be to study how the housing market downturn led to the 2007 U.S. economic recession.
Financing of Public Investment
Public spending is necessary to maintain certain public goods such as roads and parks. The question of how to finance such public investment is another area of research in macroeconomics. For instance, a government could issue bonds to finance such activities. They could also be financed through some kind of a public-private partnership. Each course of action has its pros and cons. The research paper could look into aspects such as whether such public spending projects are a good use of government surpluses.
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