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Nobel laureate Robert E. Lucas, Jr.; architect of modern macroeconomics

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  • V. V. Chari

Abstract

In 1995, Robert E. Lucas, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. This review places Lucas’ work in a historical context and evaluates the effect of this work on the economics profession. Lucas’ central contribution is that he developed and applied economic theory to answer substantive questions in macroeconomics. Economists today routinely analyze systems in which agents operate in complex probabilistic environments to understand interactions about which the great theorists of an earlier generation could only speculate. This sea change is due primarily to Lucas. This essay is reprinted from the Journal of Economic Perspectives (Winter 1998, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 171–86) with the permission of the American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • V. V. Chari, 1999. "Nobel laureate Robert E. Lucas, Jr.; architect of modern macroeconomics," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 2-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmqr:y:1999:i:spr:p:2-12:n:v.23no.2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Prescott, Edward C, 1971. "Investment Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 659-681, September.
    2. Sargent, Thomas J., 1996. "Expectations and the nonneutrality of Lucas," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 535-548, June.
    3. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-237, April.
    4. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    6. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1996. "Nobel Lecture: Monetary Neutrality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 661-682, August.
    8. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    9. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
    10. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, July.
    11. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-1286, September.
    12. Phelps, Edmund S, 1969. "The New Microeconomics in Inflation and Employment Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 147-160, May.
    13. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    14. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678-678.
    15. Franco Modigliani, 1977. "The monetarist controversy; or, should we forsake stabilization policies?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Spr suppl, pages 27-46.
    16. Sargent, Thomas J., 1993. "Bounded Rationality in Macroeconomics: The Arne Ryde Memorial Lectures," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288695.
    17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hugo Chu Chun Wei, 2018. "Representative Agent, Rational Expectations, And General Equilibrium Theory In Lucas?S Theoretical Framework: Some Considerations," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 9, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Robert L. Formaini, 1999. "Evolution of the Regulatory State : The Mixed Economy Viewed Through a Complexity Lens," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 15(Fall 1999), pages 67-97.
    3. Hugo C. W. Chu, 2015. "Lucas’ Equilibrium Account of the Business Cycle: Optimizing Behavior, General Equilibrium, and Modeling Rational Expectations," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2015_30, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    4. Alexandre Flávio Silva Andrada, 2014. "Um Estudo Do Discurso Doutrinário De Robert E. Lucas Jr. Método E História Das Ideias Acerca Das Análises De Ciclos Econômicos," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41st Brazilian Economics Meeting] 005, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    5. Marchionatti, Roberto & Sella, Lisa, 2015. "Is Neo-Walrasian Macroeconomics a Dead End?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201521, University of Turin.

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    Keywords

    Economists;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics

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