The Challenge of Implementing Macroeconomic Policy in an Increasingly Microeconomic World

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
  • Valeria Costantini


“How did I get here?” (Byrne and Eno. Once in a lifetime—Talking Heads song (Album). Sire Records, Philadelphia, PA; 1980).

The problem with development and implementation of large-scale policy into small communities is foundational to the basic conflict in an economics-driven society. That is, economic growth normally depletes resources and reduces ecosystem services leading to negative environmental externalities that, in turn, impacts social welfare. But national policy still places economic growth as a leading indicator of societal success, even if success is achieved to the detriment of the global scarcity of resources, contributing to child mortality, obesity, lack of access to clean water, unsafe communities, uncertain citizenship status, and similar concerns. All these negative environmental conditions crucially influence health conditions, whatever undeveloped, emerging, or industrialized country is considered. Reconciling the differences in this multidimensional political, social, economic, behavioral, life science, and public health dilemma is tricky, at best, due to governing models reliant on a foundation of economics, history, and mathematics—a triple bane of every scholar’s existence. However, the opportunity to generate progressive and sustainable change absent this foundation would otherwise be missed. Thus, this chapter introduces and then unfolds the economic problem in contrast to human development that is at the root of the challenge of implementing national economic policy and the local impact effecting general human development and quality of life. The chapter addresses the application of new metrics supporting economic, human and sustainable development and closes with the application of these metrics towards reasonable constraints of national equitable distribution and global economic expansion.


Public health Economic development Ecological economics Fair institutions and economic performance Social justice Production 




A form of currency or asset (e.g., money, land, machinery, technology) that indicates a strong financial status that can be used to support new business development as an investment for profit; a key input in production


The introduction of logistics (e.g., railroad, truck, aircraft, ship) to transfer finished goods or services to another location for payment


A social science utilizing theories of management and economic systems emphasizing the exchange of natural resources to produce and transfer goods and services to consumers; study of the creation and distribution of wealth to communities with limited natural resources

Economic Growth

Increasing opportunities in terms of new technologies, information, communication, and competitiveness

Economic Problem

The difficulty in balancing population needs that consume natural resources against the reality of limited resources

Equitable Distribution

Ability to balance divergent needs of a population in a manner that accounts for wealth inequality through the interpretation of a variety of inputs including who benefits from labor income, product output, access to land, etc.


A person or group of people who assumes the investment risk of a new business to try to achieve the benefits of productions, and/or the decision-maker of a new business that organizes the daily operations for profit

Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)

The effects of economic growth on environmental quality

Gross Domestic Product

An accepted annual measure of the cumulative economic activity of a nation representing the total monetary value of production, including finished goods and services, adjusting for imports

Gross National Product (GNP)

The sum of gross domestic product and the net income from foreign investment

Human Development

Consists of two dimensions that, in turn, permit access to opportunities to progress in other areas of life—(1) directly enhancing human abilities (e.g., quality of life, education, longevity) and (2) generation of conditions to support the first dimension (e.g., civic engagement, environmental sustainability, safe environments, human rights)


When a society moves from an agricultural economy to one that relies on the manufacture of goods

Opportunity Cost

Views the cost of decision-making in comparison to the next best alternative that was not selected; highlights the value of various options by comparison

Resource Curse Hypothesis (RCH)

Measures the effects of naturally endowed resources on economic growth

Socioeconomic Status (SES)

A common classification of high, middle, or low SES in the social sciences representing personal or group social status based on a variety of attributes such as level of education, income, and job that is commonly linked to expected levels of health and representative of unequal resource distribution

Sustainable Development

The same level of well-being achieved for the present generation that will be maintained at the same level for the benefit of future generations


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
    • 1
  • Valeria Costantini
    • 2
  1. 1.Independent Research AnalystJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsRoma Tre UniversityRomeItaly

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