Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past: Becoming more interdisciplinary and borrowing from micro..

Philip J. Glandon, Kenneth Kuttner, Sandeep Mazumder & Caleb Stroup in this NBER paper summarises macro research over the last 40 years:

How is macroeconomic research conducted and what is it trying to accomplish? We explore these questions using information gleaned from 1,894 articles published in ten leading journals.

We find that over the past 40 years there has been a growing emphasis on increasingly sophisticated quantitative theory, such as DSGE modeling, and papers employing these methods now account for the majority of articles in macro journals.

The shift towards quantitative theory is mirrored by a decline in the use of econometric methods to test economic hypotheses.

Econometric techniques borrowed from applied microeconomics have to a large extent displaced time series methods, and empirical papers increasingly rely on micro and proprietary data sources.

Market imperfections are pervasive, and the amount of research involving financial frictions has increased significantly in the past ten years.

The frequency with which non-macro JEL codes appear in macro articles indicates a great deal of overlap between macroeconomics and other fields.

What about next 40 years?

What do these findings imply about macroeconomic research going forward? Will a new framework eclipse New Keynesian DSGE modeling? Will the field’s theoretical emphasis continue, or will causal effects analysis become ascendant? As memories of the financial crisis fade, what will be the next big issue to attract macroeconomists’ attention (and others’ criticism for having previously been ignored)? It is tough to make predictions (especially about the future), so we will leave the state of macroeconomics in 2061 as a fruitful topic for future research.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: