IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/kan/wpaper/201218.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Perspective on the Current State of Macroeconomic Theory

Author

Listed:
  • William Barnett

    (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas)

Abstract

Historically, microeconomics was the domain of scientific methodology in economics, while macroeconomics attracted less mathematically oriented economists. In recent years, the level of sophistication of macroeconomics has grown dramatically, and that field now attracts many of the most mathematically oriented economists. Nevertheless, the field's set of shared views (i.e., maintained hypothesis) has not grown. The purpose of the scientific method is to permit the maintained hypothesis within a field to grow by establishing a rigorous methodology for deductively deriving and empirically testing hypotheses. The field of macroeconomics has failed that test of scientific success during precisely the decades of most rapid growth in the use of scientific methodology. It is argued that the source of the paradox lies in the fact that the inroads of science in macroeconomics have been asymmetric. Central to the definition and objectives of macroeconomics is dimension reduction and dynamics. Rigorous dimension reduction is impossible without formal aggregation, and complex dynamics is impossible without nonlinearity. Yet applications of formal aggregation theory and nonlinear dynamics to macroeconomics have progressed very slowly, at the time that scientific methodology in other areas of macroeconomics have advanced rapidly. This asymmetry explains the paradox.

Suggested Citation

  • William Barnett, 2012. "A Perspective on the Current State of Macroeconomic Theory," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201218, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:kan:wpaper:201218
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.ku.edu/~kuwpaper/2009Papers/201218.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William A. Barnett & Douglas Fisher & Apostolos Serletis, 2006. "Consumer Theory and the Demand for Money," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Money And The Economy, chapter 1, pages 3-43 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Barnett, William A. & Ronald Gallant, A. & Hinich, Melvin J. & Jungeilges, Jochen A. & Kaplan, Daniel T. & Jensen, Mark J., 1995. "Robustness of nonlinearity and chaos tests to measurement error, inference method, and sample size," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 301-320, July.
    3. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-1428, November.
    4. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1985. "On Endogenous Competitive Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 995-1045, September.
    5. William Barnett, 2005. "Monetary Aggregation," Macroeconomics 0503017, EconWPA.
    6. Barnett, William A & Offenbacher, Edward K & Spindt, Paul A, 1984. "The New Divisia Monetary Aggregates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1049-1085, December.
    7. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
    8. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    9. W. Erwin Diewert, 1980. "Aggregation Problems in the Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Capital, pages 433-538 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. William A. Barnett, 1979. "Theoretical Foundations for the Rotterdam Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 109-130.
    11. John Muellbauer, 1975. "Aggregation, Income Distribution and Consumer Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 525-543.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. William A. Barnett & Yi Liu, 1996. "Beyond the Risk Neutral Utility Function," Macroeconomics 9602001, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:kan:wpaper:201218. 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: (Jianbo Zhang). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deuksus.html .

    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.