Archive for January 16th, 2023

Böhm-Bawerk Meets Krugman

January 16, 2023

New NBER paper by Pol Antras:

Should graduate programs keep macro in the first-year sequence?

January 16, 2023

Tyler Cowen on the MR blog:

I have heard that MIT is pushing macro out of their required first-year sequence, noting I am not sure what the ex post regime will look like.  But in general I am macro-sympathetic, for the following reasons:

1. Many economics graduate students are from emerging (or retrogressing) economies, and macro issues are truly important for them.

2. Many graduate students are from “developed” economies (with apologies to Peter Thiel), and macro issues are truly important for them.  In America we had a major financial crisis in 2008-2009 and rampant inflation more recently.  It is hardly the case that all the problems have been solved.

3. Macro is the main vehicle for teaching people about economic growth, which is probably the most important topic in economics.

4. The Fed has a very good economics staff, and probably that tradition will be harder to continue if macro is taken out of first-year sequences.

5. You might argue that standards in macro are looser, by the nature of the field.  I would suggest it is easier to advance a new idea in macro, perhaps for the same reason?  Along related lines, macro still has more singly-authored papers, a sign that the field requires less conformity of ideas.

6. If you write down a short list of the candidates of “Greatest Economist ever,” did they not all do macro?  Doesn’t that tell us something?

That all said, I would make macro sequences “more practical,” more about economic growth, more about economic history, and less about dynamic programming than is often currently the case.

emphasis is mine..

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