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How macroeconomists lost control of stabilization policy: towards dark ages

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  • Jean-Bernard Chatelain
  • Kirsten Ralf

Abstract

This paper is a study of the history of the transplant of mathematical tools using negative feedback for macroeconomic stabilisation policy from 1948 to 1975 and the subsequent break of the use of control for stabilisation policy which occurred from 1975 to 1993. New-classical macroeconomists selected a subset of the tools of control that favoured their support of rules against discretionary stabilisation policy. The Lucas critique and Kydland and Prescott’s time-inconsistency were over-statements that led to the “dark ages” of the prevalence of the stabilisation-policy-ineffectiveness idea. These over-statements were later revised following the success of the Taylor rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Bernard Chatelain & Kirsten Ralf, 2020. "How macroeconomists lost control of stabilization policy: towards dark ages," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(6), pages 938-982, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:27:y:2020:i:6:p:938-982
    DOI: 10.1080/09672567.2020.1817119
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/09672567.2020.1817119
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    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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