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Teaching macroeconomics after the crisis


  • Bofinger, Peter


It is often said that after the crisis economic textbooks have to be rewritten. However, as surveys show, almost all professors continue using the standard IS-LM/AS-AD model as the workhorse for undergraduate training. This paper shows that the IS-LM/AS-AD model is not only full of obvious inconsistencies, e.g. using two aggregate demand and two aggregate supply curves, it also presents the economy as an inherently stable system which is only destabilized by wage rigidities and policy shocks. Thus, it cannot explain involuntary unemployment and it pretends that deflation is a self-stabilizing mechanism if an economy is affected by a negative demand shock. This paper shows that it is relatively easy to reinterpret the basic model in a way that inconsistencies can be avoided and the inherent instability of macroeconomic processes which underlies the Keynesian paradigm can be demonstrated. It also allows a discussion of monetary policy in a more topical way than the traditional LM-curve.

Suggested Citation

  • Bofinger, Peter, 2011. "Teaching macroeconomics after the crisis," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 86, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:86

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
    2. Eggertsson, Thrainn, 1990. "The role of transaction costs and property rights in economic analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 450-457, May.
    3. Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2000. "Negotiation in the Commons: Incorporating Field and Experimental Evidence into a Theory of Local Collective Action," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(4), pages 661-661, December.
    4. Schulz, Norbert, 2000. "Thoughts on the nature of vetoes when bargaining on public projects," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 17, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    5. Miceli, Thomas J., 1997. "Economics of the Law: Torts, Contracts, Property, Litigation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195103908.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The perpetual lag of macroeconomics teaching
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-03-26 19:00:00

    More about this item


    Keynesian economics; AS/AD model; economic crisis; cyclical unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian

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