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Macroeconomics

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The Art of Policymaking in India

In December 2009, the economist Kaushik Basu left the rarefied world of academic research for the nuts and bolts of policymaking. Appointed by the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, to be chief economic adviser (CEA) to the Government of India, Basu—a theorist, with special interest in development economics, and a professor of economics at Cornell University—discovered the complexity of applying economic models to the real world. Effective policymaking, Basu learned, integrates technical knowledge with political awareness.

An equilibrium theory of unemployment assumes that firms and workers maximize their payoffs under rational expectations and that wages are determined to exploit the private gains from trade.

Searching for Economic Essentials

Since the subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007, advanced economies have felt a nagging sense of insecurity. In parallel, the profession has witnessed phenomena that are alien to mainstream macroeconomic models. Financial crises are systemic, occurring simultaneously in different economies. In this book, Guillermo Calvo focuses on liquidity factors as a commonality in financial crises. Specifically, he examines the role of “liquidity crunch” in triggering crises.

This book offers a rigorous study of control, guidance, and coordination problems of an enterprise economy, with attention to the roles of money and financial institutions. The approach is distinctive in drawing on game theory, methods of physics and experimental gaming, and, more generally, a broader evolutionary perspective from the biological and behavioral sciences. The proposed theory unites Walrasian general equilibrium with macroeconomic dynamics and Schumpeterian innovation utilizing strategic market games.

Macroeconomic Policy after the Crisis

Since 2008, economic policymakers and researchers have occupied a brave new economic world. Previous consensuses have been upended, former assumptions have been cast into doubt, and new approaches have yet to stand the test of time. Policymakers have been forced to improvise and researchers to rethink basic theory. George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate and one of this volume’s editors, compares the crisis to a cat stuck in a tree, afraid to move.

The State of Macroeconomic Policy

What will economic policy look like once the global financial crisis is finally over? Will it resume the pre-crisis consensus, or will it be forced to contend with a post-crisis “new normal”? Have we made progress in addressing these issues, or does confusion remain? In April of 2015, the International Monetary Fund gathered leading economists, both academics and policymakers, to address the shape of future macroeconomic policy.

Useful Economics for the World Economy

As the global economic crisis continues to cause damage, some policy makers have called for a more Keynesian approach to current economic problems. In this book, the economists Peter Temin and David Vines provide an accessible introduction to Keynesian ideas that connects Keynes’s insights to today’s global economy and offers readers a way to understand current policy debates. They survey economic thinking before Keynes and explain how difficult it was for Keynes to escape from conventional wisdom.

Solutions to odd-numbered problem set questions in Modern Macroeconomics.

The modern study and analysis of macroeconomics begins by considering how microeconomic units—consumers and firms—make decisions, and then investigates how these choices interact to yield economy-wide outcomes. This innovative textbook takes this “modern” approach, teaching macroeconomics through its microeconomic foundations. It does so by adopting the representative agent paradigm. By modeling the representative consumer and the representative firm, students will learn to describe macroeconomic outcomes and consider the effects of macroeconomic policies.

A Nontechnical View

Macroeconomists have been caricatured either as credulous savants in love with the beauty of their mathematical models or as free-market fundamentalists who admit no doubt as to the market’s wisdom. In this book, Kartik Athreya draws a truer picture, offering a nontechnical description of prominent ideas and models in macroeconomics, and arguing for their value as interpretive tools as well as their policy relevance.

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