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Macroeconomics: science or faith based discipline?

  • Bill Russell

Whether or not macroeconomics is a science depends on the scientific nature of macroeconomic theories and how the discipline responds when the empirical evidence fails to match the underlying assumptions and predictions of the theories. By way of an example, four conditions for macroeconomics to be a science are developed and used to examine the ‘modern’ theories of the Phillips curve. It is found that while the discipline in general maintains one condition it routinely violates the other three. This suggests the macroeconomics discipline has some way to go before it can call itself a ‘pure science’.

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Paper provided by Economic Studies, University of Dundee in its series Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics with number 276.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:276
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dundee, DD1 4HN
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  1. Bill Russell & Rosen Azad Chowdhury, 2012. "Estimating United States Phillips Curves With Expectations Consistent With The Statistical Process Of Inflation," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 265, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  2. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  3. Russell, Bill & Banerjee, Anindya & Malki, Issam & Ponomareva, Natalia, 2011. "A Multiple Break Panel Approach to Estimating United States Phillips Curves," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-27, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  4. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  5. Kalecki, Michal, 1971. "Class Struggle and the Distribution of National Income," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 1-9.
  6. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  7. Hoover, Kevin D, 1984. "Two Types of Monetarism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 58-76, March.
  8. Russell, Bill, 2011. "Non-stationary inflation and panel estimates of United States short and long-run Phillips curves," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 406-419, September.
  9. Hoover,Kevin D., 2001. "The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521003216.
  10. Kozicki, Sharon, 2012. "Macro has progressed," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 23-28.
  11. Ricardo J. Caballero, 2010. "Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 85-102, Fall.
  12. Turvey, R, 1969. "Marginal Cost," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(314), pages 282-99, June.
  13. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  14. Howitt, Peter, 2012. "What have central bankers learned from modern macroeconomic theory?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 11-22.
  15. Harald Uhlig, 2011. "Economics and Reality," Working Papers 2011-006, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  16. John C. Panzar & Robert D. Willig, 1977. "Economies of Scale in Multi-Output Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(3), pages 481-493.
  17. Baumol, William J, 1977. "On the Proper Cost Tests for Natural Monopoly in a Multiproduct Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 809-22, December.
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