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Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past

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Abstract

What is the state of macroeconomics? We answer this question by hand collecting information about the epistemological approaches, theoretical and empirical methods, and data sources used by macroeconomists in their research. During the past 40 years there has been an increasing reliance on mathematical theory, particularly DSGE models, with theory-based papers now occupying the majority of space in macro journals. This shift is mirrored by a decline in the use of empirical falsification methods testing theoretical predictions. Microeconometric techniques have displaced time series methods, and empirical papers increasingly rely on micro and proprietary data sources. We document a decline and subsequent resurgence of financial frictions appearing in macro theory. Finally, we find that topics outside of macroeconomics are studied in more than three fourths of macro field journal publications.

Suggested Citation

  • P.J. Glandon & Ken Kuttner & Sandeep Mazumder & Caleb Stroup, 2019. "Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past," Department of Economics Working Papers 2019-06, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jul 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2019-06
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    macroeconomics; methods; research; macroeconomic publications;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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