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Robert J. Gordon and the introduction of the natural rate hypothesis in the Keynesian framework

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Abstract

This article studies the dissemination of the Natural Rate of Unemployment Hypothesis (NRH) in macroeconomics during the 1970s, by studying the reaction of Robert J. Gordon to the argument of Milton Friedman (1968). In the early 1970s, Gordon displayed an empirical opposition to the NRH, arguing that the estimated parameter on expected inflation was below one, meaning that the adjustment of inflation in wages was not total. Confronting to new data and to the rise of inflation, Gordon adopted the NRH after 1973. Nevertheless the adoption anticipated any empirical proof of a parameter close to one. We explain that this conversion was due to Friedman's influence on Gordon, but also to the fact it did not prevent Gordon to support active stabilization policies. The article shows how a complex explanation of the 1960s and 1970s inflation was little by little replaced by the simpler accelerationist Phillips Curve. It enables to understand the dissemination of this particular Phillips Curve, relying on the NRH, as a process mainly led by economists close to the Keynesian framework

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  • Aurélien Goutsmedt & Goulven Rubin, 2018. "Robert J. Gordon and the introduction of the natural rate hypothesis in the Keynesian framework," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 18013, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:18013
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    1. Aurélien Goutsmedt & Erich Pinzón-Fuchs & Matthieu Renault & Francesco Sergi, 2017. "Reacting to the Lucas Critique: The Keynesians' Pragmatic Replies," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01625169, HAL.
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    4. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2013. "Monetary Policy Mistakes and the Evolution of Inflation Expectations," NBER Chapters, in: The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking, pages 255-288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthieu Renault, 2018. "Edmond Malinvaud´s Criticisms of the New Classical Economics: Restoring the Nature and the Rationale of the Old Keynesians´ Opposition," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2018_21, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expectations; Natural Rate of Unemployment; Phillips Curve; Stagflation;

    JEL classification:

    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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