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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. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Edmund S. Phelps, 1968. "Money-Wage Dynamics and Labor-Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 678.
  6. Peter Henle, 1973. "Reverse Collective Bargaining? A Look at Some Union Concession Situations," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 26(3), pages 956-968, April.
  7. Douglas Laxton & Guy Debelle, 1996. "Is the Phillips Curve Really a Curve? Some Evidence for Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States," IMF Working Papers 96/111, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Gordon, Robert J, 1996. "The Time-varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  10. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 1115-71, September.
  11. N. G. Mankiw., 2009. "The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  12. Geoffrey Woglom, 1982. "Underemployment Equilibrium with Rational Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(1), pages 89-107.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Christina D. Romer, 1996. "Inflation and the Growth Rate of Output," NBER Working Papers 5575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Sibly, Hugh, 2002. "Loss averse customers and price inflexibility," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 521-538, August.
  18. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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