IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hec/heccee/2012-7.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Man and Machine in Macroeconomics

Author

Listed:
  • Kevin D. Hoover

Abstract

The potted histories of macroeconomics textbooks are typically Keynes-centric. Keynes is credited with founding macroeconomics, and the central developments in the field through the early 1970s, including large-scale macroeconometric models are usually termed “Keynesian.” The story of macroeconomics is framed as support or opposition (e.g., monetarism or the new classical macroeconomics) to Keynes. The real story is more complicated and involves at least two distinct threads. Keynes was important, but perhaps more important for the detailed development of the field were the early macroeconometricians – Ragnar Frisch and Jan Tinbergen. Frisch and Tinbergen adopted physical or mechanical metaphors in which aggregate quantities are central. Keynes’s vision of macroeconomics is better described as “medical.” It is based in human psychology and individual decision-making and sees the economy as an organic system. Whereas policymakers and economic advisers in Keynes view can operate only within the economic system, Frisch and Tinbergen laid the basis for an optimal-control approach to economic policy in which the policymaker stands outside the system. Recent new classical macroeconomics has adopted an uneasy amalgam of the medical and mechanical metaphors.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin D. Hoover, 2012. "Man and Machine in Macroeconomics," Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series 2012-07, Center for the History of Political Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hec:heccee:2012-7
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hope.econ.duke.edu/node/574
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Methods and Problems in Business Cycle Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 696-715, November.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller, 2010. "Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9163.
    4. Ronald G. Bodkin & Lawrence R. Klein & Kanta Marwah, 1991. "A History of Macroeconometric Model-Building," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 51, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    macroeconomics; Keynes; Frisch; Tinbergen; Klein; macroeconometric models; macroeconomic policy;

    JEL classification:

    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B23 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Econometrics; Quantitative and Mathematical Studies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hec:heccee:2012-7. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster). General contact details of provider: http://hope.econ.duke.edu .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.