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Is something really wrong with macroeconomics?

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  • Ricardo Reis

Abstract

Many critiques of the state of macroeconomics are off target. Current macroeconomic research is not mindless DSGE modelling filled with ridiculous assumptions and oblivious of data. Rather, young macroeconomists are doing vibrant, varied, and exciting work, getting jobs, and being published. Macroeconomics informs economic policy only moderately, and not more than nor differently from other fields in economics. Monetary policy has benefitted significantly from this advice in keeping inflation under control and preventing a new Great Depression. Macroeconomic forecasts perform poorly in absolute terms and, given the size of the challenge, probably always will. But relative to the level of aggregation, the time horizon, and the amount of funding, macroeconomic forecasts are not so obviously worse than those in other fields. What is most wrong with macroeconomics today is perhaps that there is too little discussion of which models to teach and too little investment in graduate-level textbooks.

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  • Ricardo Reis, 2018. "Is something really wrong with macroeconomics?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1-2), pages 132-155.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:34:y:2018:i:1-2:p:132-155.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oxrep/grx053
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    Cited by:

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    2. Olatunji A. Shobande & Oladimeji T. Shodipe & Simplice A. Asongu, 2019. "Global Shocks Alert and Monetary Policy Responses," Working Papers of the African Governance and Development Institute. 19/066, African Governance and Development Institute..
    3. Daniel Levy & Tamir Mayer & Alon Raviv, 2020. "Academic Scholarship in Light of the 2008 Financial Crisis: Textual Analysis of NBER Working Papers," Working Papers 2020-01, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    4. Stijn Claessens & M Ayhan Kose, 2018. "Frontiers of macrofinancial linkages," BIS Papers, Bank for International Settlements, number 95.
    5. Urban, Janina & Rommel, Florian, 2020. "German economics: Its current form and content," Working Paper Series 56, Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung, Institut für Ökonomie.
    6. Sergey Ivashchenko & Semih Emre Çekin & Kevin Kotzé & Rangan Gupta, 2020. "Forecasting with Second-Order Approximations and Markov-Switching DSGE Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 56(4), pages 747-771, December.
    7. Boscá, J.E. & Doménech, R. & Ferri, J. & Méndez, R. & Rubio-Ramírez, J.F., 2020. "Financial and fiscal shocks in the great recession and recovery of the Spanish economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    8. Ádám Török & Boglárka Konka, 2018. "Episode or Hysteresis? Some Theoretical and Policy Lessons from the Crisis of 2008," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 68(supplemen), pages 45-70, November.
    9. Federico Morelli & Michael Benzaquen & Marco Tarzia & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2020. "Confidence Collapse in a Multi-Household, Self-Reflexive DSGE Model," Post-Print hal-02323098, HAL.
    10. Döpke, Jörg & Fritsche, Ulrich & Müller, Karsten, 2019. "Has macroeconomic forecasting changed after the Great Recession? Panel-based evidence on forecast accuracy and forecaster behavior from Germany," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    11. Gulan, Adam, 2018. "Paradise lost? A brief history of DSGE macroeconomics," Research Discussion Papers 22/2018, Bank of Finland.
    12. Emre Örün, 2020. "Theoritical Seekings in Macroeconomics," Istanbul Journal of Economics-Istanbul Iktisat Dergisi, Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 70(2), pages 451-477, December.
    13. Dia, Enzo & Bartolomeo, Giovanni Di, 2019. "Macroeconomics, rationality, and institutions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 46-49.
    14. Jaakko Kuorikoski & Aki Lehtinen, 2018. "Model selection in macroeconomics: DSGE and ad hocness," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 252-264, July.
    15. William J. Luther & J. P. McElyea, 2018. "Austrian Macroeconomics in Search of Its Uniqueness," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 33(Summer 20), pages 1-20.
    16. D. Masciandaro, 2019. "What Bird Is That? Central Banking And Monetary Policy In The Last Forty Years," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 19127, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

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    Keywords

    methodology; graduate teaching; forecasting; public debate;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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