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Macroeconomics: science or faith based discipline?

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  • Bill Russell

Abstract

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’.

Suggested Citation

  • Bill Russell, 2013. "Macroeconomics: science or faith based discipline?," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 276, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  • Handle: RePEc:dun:dpaper:276
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
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    6. A. W. Phillips, 1958. "The Relation Between Unemployment and the Rate of Change of Money Wage Rates in the United Kingdom, 1861–1957," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 25(100), pages 283-299, November.
    7. 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.
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    9. Bill Russell & Anindya Banerjee & Issam Malki & Natalia Ponomareva, 2010. "A Multiple Break Panel Approach To Estimating United States Phillips Curves," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 232, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
    10. Hoover,Kevin D., 2001. "The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521802727.
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    16. Turvey, R, 1969. "Marginal Cost," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(314), pages 282-299, June.
    17. Russell, Bill & Chowdhury, Rosen Azad, 2013. "Estimating United States Phillips curves with expectations consistent with the statistical process of inflation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 24-38.
    18. Michal Kalecki, 1971. "Class Struggle And The Distribution Of National Income," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 1-9, February.
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    21. Hoover, Kevin D, 1984. "Two Types of Monetarism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 58-76, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Russel, Bill, 2015. "'Modern' Phillips Curves and the Implications For The Statistical Process of Inflation," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-84, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Bill Russell, 2017. "‘Modern’ Phillips curves and the implications for the statistical process of inflation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 58-60, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Methodology; Phillips curve; inflation; structural breaks; nonstationary data; macroeconomics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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