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Disarray at the headquarters: Economists and Central bankers tested by the subprime and the COVID recessions
[Forward guidance without common knowledge]

Author

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  • Francisco Louçã
  • Alexandre Abreu
  • Gonçalo Pessa Costa

Abstract

The article explores the discussions among economic modelers and central banks research staff and decision makers, namely on the adequacy of unconventional monetary policy and fiscal expansionary measures after the subprime crisis and as the COVID recession is developing. First, the article investigates the arguments, models and policy proposals of several mainstream schools of economics that challenged the traditional Chicagoan orthodoxy based on Milton Friedman’s views, and developed the Lucas Critique, the New Classical synthesis and Real Business Cycle approach that replaced monetarism as the main rivals to old-time Keynesianism. Second, the transformation of Real Business Cycle models into Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) models is mapped, as it extended the ideas of the iniquity of government intervention and unified academic and central bank research. Yet, a battery of criticism was levied against the DSGE models and, as the debate emerged over quantitative easing and other tools of unconventional monetary policy, the need for policy pragmatism shattered the previous consensus. The article then proceeds to discuss how the leading mainstream academic economists reacted to changes in central banks‘ practices, noticing a visible dissonance within Chicago-school and DSGE economists, as well as major contortions of central bankers in order to justify their new postures. The article concludes with a call for an extensive menu of fiscal, industrial and innovation policies in order to respond to recessions and structural crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Louçã & Alexandre Abreu & Gonçalo Pessa Costa, 2021. "Disarray at the headquarters: Economists and Central bankers tested by the subprime and the COVID recessions [Forward guidance without common knowledge]," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 273-296.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:30:y:2021:i:2:p:273-296.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B26 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Financial Economics
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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