Stabilization Policy

DEFINITION of 'Stabilization Policy'

A macroeconomic strategy enacted by governments and central banks to keep economic growth stable, along with price levels and unemployment. Ongoing stabilization policy includes monitoring the business cycle and adjusting benchmark interest rates to control aggregate demand in the economy. The goal is to avoid erratic changes in total output, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and large changes in inflation; stabilization of these factors generally leads to moderate changes in the employment rate as well.

BREAKING DOWN 'Stabilization Policy'

Stabilization policies are also used to help an economy recover from a specific economic crisis or shock, such as sovereign debt defaults or a stock market crash. In these instances stabilization policies may come from governments directly through overt legislation, securities reforms, or from international banking groups, such as the World Bank.

As economies become more complex and advanced, top economists believe that maintaining a steady price level and pace of growth is the key to long-term prosperity. When any of the aforementioned variables becomes too volatile, there are unforeseen consequences and effects to the broad economy that keep markets from functioning at their optimum level of efficiency.

Most modern economies employ stabilization policies, with much of the work being done by central banking authorities like the U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Stabilization policy is largely credited with the moderate but positive rates of GDP growth seen in the United States since the early 1980s.

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