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Behavioural Macroeconomics And Wage And Price Setting: Developing Some Early Insights Of John Maynard Keynes And Joan Robinson

  • Ian McDonald

    ()

This paper argues that the theory of wage and price setting in macroeconomics should be broadened to include insights from behavioural economics, in particular prospect theory and loss aversion. The paper shows how broader microeconomic foundations can explain the main features of a realistic Phillips curve, which are the concurrence of a steep SRPC at low unemployment, a flat SRPC at high unemployment and speed-limit effects. The resulting macroeconomic model has the benefits of consistency with important properties of natural rate models, especially a crucial role for inflation expectations and, in determining the economy’s macroeconomic potential, for supply factors, plus the benefit of consistency with the standard IS/LM model. The paper also shows that the behavioural aspects of these broader microeconomic foundations were alluded to by Keynes and Robinson in 1936 when macroeconomics was created.

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File URL: http://cbe.anu.edu.au/research/papers/camawpapers/Papers/2009/McDonald_112009.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2009-11.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2009-11
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  1. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. N. G. Mankiw., 2009. "The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  3. Sibly, Hugh, 2002. "Loss averse customers and price inflexibility," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 521-538, August.
  4. Guy Debelle & Douglas Laxton, 1997. "Is the Phillips Curve Really a Curve? Some Evidence for Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 249-282, June.
  5. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  6. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Woglom, Geoffrey, 1982. "Underemployment Equilibrium with Rational Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 89-107, February.
  8. Ian McDonald & Jenny Lye, 2006. "Union Power and Australia’s inflation Barrier, 1965:4 to 2004:3," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 9(3), pages 287-304, September.
  9. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
  10. Christina D. Romer, 1996. "Inflation and the Growth Rate of Output," NBER Working Papers 5575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
  14. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  15. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 1115-71, September.
  16. Krugman, Paul, 2000. "How Complicated Does the Model Have to Be?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 33-42, Winter.
  17. Ian M. McDonald & Hugh Sibly, 2005. "The Diamond Of Macroeconomic Equilibria And Non-Inflationary Expansion," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 393-409, 07.
  18. Peter Henle, 1973. "Reverse collective bargaining? A look at some union concession situations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 26(3), pages 956-968, April.
  19. Lye, J N & McDonald, I M & Sibly, H, 2001. "An Estimate of the Range of Equilibrium Rates of Unemployment for Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(236), pages 35-50, March.
  20. Luigino Bruni & Robert Sugden, 2007. "The road not taken: how psychology was removed from economics, and how it might be brought back," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 146-173, 01.
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