Download e-book for iPad: Big Ideas in Macroeconomics: A Nontechnical View by Kartik B. Athreya

By Kartik B. Athreya

Macroeconomists were caricatured both as credulous savants in love with the great thing about their mathematical types or as free-market fundamentalists who admit doubtless as to the market's knowledge. during this publication, Kartik Athreya attracts a more true photo, providing a nontechnical description of well known principles and types in macroeconomics, and arguing for his or her worth as interpretive instruments in addition to their coverage relevance. Athreya intentionally leaves out the technical equipment, offering a necessary advisor to the occasionally summary rules that force macroeconomists' learn and functional coverage advice.

Athreya describes the most method of macroeconomic version building, the foundational Walrasian general-equilibrium framework, and its glossy model, the Arrow-Debreu-McKenzie (ADM) version. within the middle of the e-book, Athreya exhibits how the Walrasian technique shapes and unifies a lot of contemporary macroeconomics. He info types valuable to ongoing macroeconomic analyses: the neoclassical and stochastic progress versions, the ordinary incomplete-markets version, the overlapping-generations version, and the common seek version. Athreya's available primer strains the hyperlinks among the perspectives and coverage recommendation of recent macroeconomists and their shared theoretical approach.

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To the extent possible, therefore, macroeconomists want to work with models whose parameters are genuinely likely (on a priori “smell test” grounds) to not be crude proxies for an amalgam of forces that will change easily, either over time or under the changes in policy we want to investigate. However, inoculating one’s model against the Lucas critique is, strictly speaking, impossible—the model would have to capture all possible kinds of eventualities, and this would make the model . . not a model anymore, but rather a perfect, and perfectly unwieldy, mess.

A Pareto-efficient allocation is a complete description of the goods and services consumed by each household and produced by each firm, with the property that there is no conceivable and feasible alternative distribution of goods, services, and production responsibilities in which all households could be made better off. Notice that, starting at a Pareto-optimal allocation, the only way to improve the well-being of one household is at the expense of at least one other one. ” The final piece of terminology is that of the core of an economy.

This is the point at which most macroeconomic models will begin to differ from one another. Much of what happens in model building has to do with how participants are allowed to trade with each other, rather than with how rational or nonrational their behavior may be. This is important, even if only as a description of how the profession works. Later, I will try to explain the nature of the tradeoffs that have led macroeconomists to accept this way of working, even when many find certain aspects of the standard specification of preferences and expectation formation implausible.

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