Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

On the Scientific Status of Economic Policy: A Tale of Alternative Paradigms

Contents:

Author Info

  • Giorgio Fagiolo

    ()
    (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa)

  • Andrea Roventini

    ()
    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

In the last years, a number of contributions has argued that monetary - and, more generally, economic - policy is finally becoming more of a science. According to these authors, policy rules implemented by central banks are nowadays well supported by a theoretical framework (the New Neoclassical Synthesis) upon which a general consensus has emerged in the economic profession. In other words, scientific discussion on economic policy seems to be ultimately confined to either fine-tuning this "consensus" model, or assessing the extent to which "elements of art" still exist in the conduct of monetary policy. In this paper, we present a substantially opposite view, rooted in a critical discussion of the theoretical, empirical and political-economy pitfalls of the neoclassical approach to policy analysis. Our discussion indicates that we are still far from building a science of economic policy. We suggest that a more fruitful research avenue to pursue is to explore alternative theoretical paradigms, which can escape the strong theoretical requirements of neoclassical models (e.g., equilibrium, rationality, etc.). We briefly introduce one of the most successful alternative research projects - known in the literature as agent-based computational economics (ACE) - and we present the way it has been applied to policy analysis issues. We conclude by discussing the methodological status of ACE, as well as the (many) problems it raises.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://dse.univr.it//workingpapers/WP47.pdf
File Function: First version
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 47/2008.

as in new window
Length: 28
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:47/2008

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Vicolo Campofiore, 2 - I-37129 Verona
Phone: +390458028097
Fax: +390458028486
Email:
Web page: http://www.dse.univr.it
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Economic Policy; Monetary Policy; New Neoclassical Synthesis; New Keynesian Models; DSGE Models; Agent-Based Computational Economics; Agent-Based Models; Post-Walrasian Macroeconomics; Evolutionary Economics;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. David Colander, 2005. "The future of economics: the appropriately educated in pursuit of the knowable," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 927-941, November.
  2. Fabio Canova & Luca Sala, 2006. "Back to square one: identification issues in DSGE models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 196, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. John B Taylor, 2007. "The Explanatory Power of Monetary Policy Rules," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(4), pages 8-15, October.
  4. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Giovanni Dosi & Luigi Marengo & Giorgio Fagiolo, 1996. "Learning in evolutionary environment," CEEL Working Papers 9605, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  7. Fabio Canova, 2007. "How much structure in empirical models?," Economics Working Papers 1054, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  8. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R, 1994. "An Introduction to Evolutionary Theories in Economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 153-72, September.
  9. Roger E. A. Farmer & Andreas Beyer, 2004. "On the Indeterminacy of New Keynesian Economics," 2004 Meeting Papers 187, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Carlo A. Favero, 2007. "Model Evaluation in Macroeconometrics: from early empirical macroeconomic models to DSGE models," Working Papers 327, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "A,B,C's (and D's)'s for Understanding VARS," Levine's Bibliography 172782000000000096, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & James M. Nason & Giacomo Rondina, 2007. "Simple versus optimal rules as guides to policy," Working Paper 2007-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Zarnowitz, Victor, 1985. "Recent Work on Business Cycles in Historical Perspective: A Review of Theories and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 523-80, June.
  14. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1997. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  16. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Mauro Napoletano & Jackie Krafft & Andrea Roventini, 2006. "Are output growth-rate distributions fat-tailed? Some evidence from OECD countries," Sciences Po publications 36, Sciences Po.
  18. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 1999. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1972. "Market Excess Demand Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(3), pages 549-63, May.
  21. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1993. "Impulse dynamics and propagation mechanisms in a real business cycle model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 77-81.
  22. Robert G. King & Sergio T. Rebelo, 2000. "Resuscitating Real Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 7534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. M.Utku Unver & John Dufffy, 2005. "Internet Auctions with Artificial Adaptive Agents: A Study on Market Design," Working Papers 260, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  24. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
  25. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: II. Applications," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000394, UCLA Department of Economics.
  26. Mannaro, Katiuscia & Marchesi, Michele & Setzu, Alessio, 2008. "Using an artificial financial market for assessing the impact of Tobin-like transaction taxes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 445-462, August.
  27. Mantel, Rolf R., 1974. "On the characterization of aggregate excess demand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 348-353, March.
  28. Herbert Dawid & Michael Neugart, 2011. "Agent-based Models for Economic Policy Design," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(1), pages 44-50.
  29. Tesfatsion, Leigh & Judd, Kenneth L., 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics, Vol. 2: Agent-Based Computational Economics," Staff General Research Papers 10368, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  30. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  31. H. Dawid & S. Gemkow & P. Harting & K. Kabus & K. Wersching & M. Neugart, 2008. "Skills, Innovation, and Growth: An Agent-Based Policy Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(2+3), pages 251-275, June.
  32. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  33. Augusto Rupérez Micola & Albert Banal Estañol & Derek W. Bunn, 2006. "Incentives and Coordination in Vertically Related Energy Markets," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-02, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  34. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  35. David Lane & Robert Maxfield, 2004. "Ontological uncertainty and innovation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 3-50, January.
  36. Marvin Goodfriend, 2007. "How the World Achieved Consensus on Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 13580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  38. Victor Zarnowitz, 1997. "Business Cycles Observed and Assessed: Why and How They Matter," NBER Working Papers 6230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Martin Fukac & Adrian Pagan, 2006. "Issues In Adopting Dsge Models For Use In The Policy Process," CAMA Working Papers 2006-10, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  40. William Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Dosi, G & Egidi, M, 1991. "Substantive and Procedural Uncertainty: An Exploration of Economic Behaviours in Changing Environments," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 145-68, April.
  42. Malerba, Franco & Nelson, Richard & Orsenigo, Luigi & Winter, Sidney, 2008. "Public policies and changing boundaries of firms in a "history-friendly" model of the co-evolution of the computer and semiconductor industries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 355-380, August.
  43. Debreu, Gerard, 1974. "Excess demand functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-21, March.
  44. Andreas Pyka & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2005. "Agent-Based Modelling: A Methodology for Neo-Schumpeterian Economics," Discussion Paper Series 272, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
  45. A. Leijonhufvud., 2006. "Episodes in a Century of Macroeconomics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 11.
  46. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 1999. "Aggregation of linear dynamic microeconomic models," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 131-158, February.
  47. Carayol, Nicolas & Roux, Pascale & YIldIzoGlu, Murat, 2008. "Inefficiencies in a model of spatial networks formation with positive externalities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 495-511, August.
  48. Sun, Junjie & Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 2006. "Dynamic Testing of Wholesale Power Market Designs: An Open-Source Agent-Based Framework," Staff General Research Papers 12649, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  49. Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessio Moneta & Paul Windrum, 2007. "A Critical Guide to Empirical Validation of Agent-Based Models in Economics: Methodologies, Procedures, and Open Problems," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 195-226, October.
  50. Alessi, Lucia & Barigozzi, Matteo & Capasso, Marco, 2008. "A review of nonfundamentalness and identification in structural VAR models," Working Paper Series 0922, European Central Bank.
  51. Leigh Tesfatsion, 2002. "Agent-Based Computational Economics," Computational Economics 0203001, EconWPA, revised 15 Aug 2002.
  52. Lane, David A, 1993. "Artificial Worlds and Economics, Part II," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 177-97, August.
  53. Alan Greenspan, 2004. "Risk and Uncertainty in Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 33-40, May.
  54. Russo, Alberto & Catalano, Michele & Gaffeo, Edoardo & Gallegati, Mauro & Napoletano, Mauro, 2007. "Industrial dynamics, fiscal policy and R&D: Evidence from a computational experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 426-447.
  55. Happe, Kathrin & Balmann, Alfons & Kellermann, Konrad & Sahrbacher, Christoph, 2008. "Does structure matter? The impact of switching the agricultural policy regime on farm structures," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 431-444, August.
  56. Kirman, Alan, 1989. "The Intrinsic Limits of Modern Economic Theory: The Emperor Has No Clothes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 126-39, Supplemen.
  57. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2006. "An Evolutionary Model of Endogenous Business Cycles," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 3-34, February.
  58. Victor Zarnowitz, 1985. "Recent Work on Business Cycles in Historical Perspective: Review of Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  59. Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. " The Scientific Illusion in Empirical Macroeconomics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(2), pages 129-48.
  60. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 1997. "Aggregation and the Microfoundations of Dynamic Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288008.
  61. Neugart, Michael, 2008. "Labor market policy evaluation with ACE," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 418-430, August.
  62. Lane, David A, 1993. "Artificial Worlds and Economics, Part I," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 89-107, May.
  63. Brock, W A, 1999. "Scaling in Economics: A Reader's Guide," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 409-46, September.
  64. Wilhite, Allen & Allen, W. David, 2008. "Crime, protection, and incarceration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 481-494, August.
  65. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  66. Chen, Shu-Heng & Chie, Bin-Tzong, 2008. "Lottery markets design, micro-structure, and macro-behavior: An ACE approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 463-480, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Andrea Roventini, 2008. "Schumpeter Meeting Keynes: A Policy-Friendly Model of Endogenous Growth and Business Cycles," Working Papers 50/2008, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  2. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Mauro, Gallegati, 2013. "Financial Regulation in an Agent Based Macroeconomic Model," MPRA Paper 51013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Riccetti, Luca & Russo, Alberto & Gallegati, Mauro, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and financial factors in an agent-based macroeconomic model," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-9, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:47/2008. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael Reiter).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.