A History of Macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and Beyond

Review From User :

That was an intellectually pleasant journey. Let me start by saying that there is always a gap between what you see at the undergraduate macroeconomic level and the graduate level. This book helps bridge that gap. It provides a historical context into which you can fit different macroeconomic models and ideas.

Here is a brief list of what I like about this book:

1- The natural order of thoughts and at the same time, it preserves the chronological order of the chapters.

2- The pure focus on the methodologies themselves rather than what adherents of a particular methodology claim about it.

3- Personally, the size of the book is ideal for me. The author went straight to his points and was not distracted by side issues.

4- Thanks to this book, I now have a better grasp of the pros and cons of the shift in macroeconomic thinking that occurred with the Lucas revolution.

6- This book is also one large literature survey. I kept marking interesting papers in the bibliography for later reading.

7- I appreciate authors who summarize their ideas in clear and neat tables.

On the other hand, here is what I think the book is short on:

1-There is no extensive discussion of empirical macroeconomic models. At one point, the author mentions that structural VARs are the source of stylized facts in the modern DSGE literature, and he has a brief subsection on Sims, but that's it. I think that a separate examination and more extensive examination will add a lot of value to this great book. Also, I am curious about the author's view on the link between empirical observations obtained from the SVAR literature and theoretical models.

2- I expected more about some important macroeconomists such as Paul Samuelson and James Tobin.

3- I think there are some misleading but unintended mistakes in chapter 18 in the signs of NK-DSGE equations' coefficients.

Overall this is a valuable book, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the history of macroeconomic theory and specifically to graduate students.
I conclude with one last message inspired by my reading of the book: economists should have some concrete exposure to the philosophy of social sciences to understand the benefits and limitations of their methodologies and models.

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