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Macroeconomics After a Decade of Rational Expectations: Some Critical Issues

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

The main section of this paper discusses competing theories of aggregate supply that are currently being utilized in macroeconomic models with rational expectations. The distinction between flexible-price equilibrium models and models with nominal contracts is emphasized and three models of the latter type are described and contrasted, it is argued that rejection of flexible-price equilibrium theories, as the evidence seems to warrant,does not require abandonment of the equilibrium approach. Also included are remarks on the present status of the rational expectations version of the natural-rate hypothesis. The second section of the paper briefly discusses a few issues concerning the equilibrium approach and aggregate demand, with attention devoted to the overlapping-generations framework. The third section considers a recent attempt, involving the use of "vector autoregression"models, to denigrate the importance of the Lucas critique of traditional policy-evaluation procedures.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1050.

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Date of creation: Dec 1982
Publication status: published as McCallum, Bennett T. "Macroeconomics After a Decade of Rational Expectations: Some Critical Issues." Published separately as the Henry Thronton Lecture for 1982 by The City University, London, Also published in Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Review, Vol. 68, No. 6, Nov./Dec. 1982),pp.3-12
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1050
Note: EFG
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  2. Gordon, Robert J, 1982. "Price Inertia and Policy Ineffectiveness in the United States, 1890-1980," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1087-1117, December.
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  10. Grossman, Herschel I., 1983. "The natural-rate hypothesis, the rational-expectations hypothesis, and the remarkable survival of non-market-clearing assumptions," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 225-245, January.
  11. Bryant, John & Wallace, Neil, 1979. "The Inefficiency of Interest-bearing National Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 365-381, April.
  12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  13. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "The role of overlapping-generations models in monetary economics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 9-44, January.
  14. Blinder, Alan S. & Fischer, Stanley, 1981. "Inventories, rational expectations, and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 277-304.
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  17. Barro, Robert J, 1977. "Unanticipated Money Growth and Unemployment in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 101-115, March.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
  19. Brunner, Karl & Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H., 1980. "Stagflation, persistent unemployment and the permanence of economic shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 467-492, October.
  20. McCallum, Bennett T, 1980. "Rational Expectations and Macroeconomic Stabilization Policy: An Overview," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 12(4), pages 716-746, November.
  21. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  22. Taylor, John B, 1983. "Union Wage Settlements during a Disinflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 981-993, December.
  23. Franco Modigliani & Lucas Papademos, 1975. "Targets for Monetary Policy in the Coming Year," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(1), pages 141-166.
  24. Christopher A. Sims, 1982. "Policy Analysis with Econometric Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 107-164.
  25. Franco Modigliani, 1977. "The monetarist controversy; or, should we forsake stabilization policies?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Spr suppl, pages 27-46.
  26. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-254, April.
  27. James Tobin, 1980. "Stabilization Policy Ten Years After," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 19-90.
  28. Robert B. Litterman, 1982. "Optimal control of the money supply," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  29. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  30. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  31. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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