Do we really have a better understanding of the dynamics of inflation & business cycles?

In “Microfoundations and Macro Wars” Simon Wren-Lewis concludes:

So it is clear why the microfoundations debate is mixed up with the debate over Keynesian economics. It also seems clear to me that the microfoundations approach did reveal serious problems with the Keynesian analysis that had gone before, and that the New Keynesian analysis that has emerged as a result of the microfoundations project is a lot better for it. We now understand more about the dynamics of inflation and business cycles and so monetary policy is better. This shows that the microfoundations project is progressive.

But just because a methodology is progressive does not imply that it is the only proper way to proceed. When I wrote that focusing on microfoundations can distort the way macroeconomists think, I was talking about myself as much as anyone else. I feel I spend too much time thinking about microfoundations tricks, and give insufficient attention to empirical evidence that should have much more influence on modelling choices. I don’t think I can just blame anti-Keynesians for this: I would argue New Keynesians also need to be more pragmatic about what they do, and more tolerant of other ways of building macromodels.

“And so monetary policy is better”. Is it really? So why is the US, Europe and several other countries “rolling in the deep“?

About the Author

Marcus Nunes
João Marcus Marinho Nunes is a partner of Phynance Estratégias Quantitativas e Investimentos and a professor of Economics at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil. He also blogs here:

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