Updated, October 2016
If a government wanted to eliminate tuberculosis from a single village, it would need one committed doctor; if it wanted to eliminate tuberculosis from a thousand villages, it would need many committed doctors and one committed macroeconomist. The moment you try to scale things up, you have to make choices that impact the economy as a whole. For example, will you print money to pay for the larger expense? Borrow more? Raise taxes? Any of those decisions would have serious implications on inflation, interest rates, and investment flows, which might hurt the people back in the villages when they try to buy food, get a loan, or find a job. Even if you had the funding, your plans may be derailed by sudden changes elsewhere in the world—like a fall in the international price of the minerals your country exports.
In other words, your actions are part of a broader context. That context is macroeconomics—the system that connects together the countless policies, preferences, resources, and technologies that make economic development happen. We live in a complex and interconnected world, in which many factors influence the economy of the country as a whole. Without proper macro management, poverty reduction and social equity are just not possible. It is a discipline of billion-dollar decisions that affect the pockets of all of us as individuals.
Experts within the World Bank Group’s Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment Global Practice (MTI) are working with countries around the world on issues such as taxation, growth strategies, public expenditures, public debt and sovereign wealth funds management. We provide analysis for sound policy making so that governments can develop and nurture their economies, with the aim target of reducing poverty and promoting share prosperity for all its citizens.