Ricardo J. Caballero

Ricardo J. Caballero is Ford International Professor of Economics at MIT.

  • Specificity and the Macroeconomics of Restructuring

    Specificity and the Macroeconomics of Restructuring

    Ricardo J. Caballero

    A proposal that the notion of specificity—the idea that factors of production are not interchangeable—can provide a unified framework to analyze and understand a wide variety of macroeconomic phenomena stemming from the transactional environment and microeconomic restructuring.

    The core mechanism that drives economic growth in modern market economies is massive microeconomic restructuring and factor reallocation—the Schumpeterian "creative destruction" by which new technologies replace the old. At the microeconomic level, restructuring is characterized by countless decisions to create and destroy production arrangements. The efficiency of these decisions depends in large part on the existence of sound institutions that provide a proper transactional environment. In this groundbreaking book, Ricardo Caballero proposes a unified framework to analyze and understand a wide variety of macroeconomic phenomena stemming from limitations, especially institutional, that hinder these adjustments.

    Caballero argues that macroeconomic models need to be made more "structural" in a precise sense and can not be maintained on the assumption that decisions are fully flexible. What is needed, he proposes, is the notion of specificity—the idea that factors of production are not freely interchangeable. Many of the major macroeconomic developments of recent decades, he argues, fit naturally into this perspective, including the transition problems of Eastern Europe, the heavy weight of labor regulations in Western Europe, the emerging market crises of the 1990s, the prolonged expansion of the U.S. economy, and Japan's stagnation following the collapse of its real estate bubble.

    After describing the basic arguments of the book and developing models to illustrate two different kinds of specificity (relationship specificity and technological specificity), Caballero analyzes a variety of aspects of inefficient restructuring and revisits perennial business cycle patterns such as the cyclical behavior of unemployment, investment, and wages. Finally, he looks at the endogenous response of political institutions and technology to opportunistic exploitation of relationship specificity. Economists working on macroeconomics, development, growth, labor, and productivity issues will find Caballero's conceptual framework applicable to phenomena in their fields.

    • Hardcover $9.75 £7.99


  • Progress and Confusion

    Progress and Confusion

    The State of Macroeconomic Policy

    Olivier Blanchard, Raghuram Rajan, Kenneth Rogoff, and Lawrence H. Summers

    Leading economists consider the shape of future economic policy: will it resume the pre-crisis consensus, or contend with the post-crisis “new normal”?

    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. This book is the result, with prominent figures—including Ben Bernanke, John Taylor, and Paul Volcker—offering essays that address topics that range from the measurement of systemic risk to foreign exchange intervention.

    The chapters address whether we have entered a “new normal” of low growth, negative real rates, and deflationary pressures, with contributors taking opposing views; whether new financial regulation has stemmed systemic risk; the effectiveness of macro prudential tools; monetary policy, the choice of inflation targets, and the responsibilities of central banks; fiscal policy, stimulus, and debt stabilization; the volatility of capital flows; and the international monetary and financial system, including the role of international policy coordination.

    In light of these discussions, is there progress or confusion regarding the future of macroeconomic policy? In the final chapter, volume editor Olivier Blanchard answers: both. Many lessons have been learned; but, as the chapters of the book reveal, there is no clear agreement on several key issues.

    Contributors Viral V. Acharya, Anat R. Admati, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Ben Bernanke, Olivier Blanchard, Marco Buti, Ricardo J. Caballero, Agustín Carstens, Jaime Caruana, J. Bradford DeLong, Martin Feldstein, Vitor Gaspar, John Geanakoplos, Philipp Hildebrand, Gill Marcus, Maurice Obstfeld, Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva, Rafael Portillo, Raghuram Rajan, Kenneth Rogoff, Robert E. Rubin, Lawrence H. Summers, Hyun Song Shin, Lars E. O. Svensson, John B. Taylor, Paul Tucker, José Viñals, Paul A. Volcker

    • Hardcover $31.95 £25.00
    • Paperback $21.95 £16.99
  • In the Wake of the Crisis

    In the Wake of the Crisis

    Leading Economists Reassess Economic Policy

    Olivier Blanchard, David Romer, Michael Spence, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

    Prominent economists reconsider the fundamentals of economic policy for a post-crisis world.

    In 2011, the International Monetary Fund invited prominent economists and economic policymakers to consider the brave new world of the post-crisis global economy. The result is a book that captures the state of macroeconomic thinking at a transformational moment.

    The crisis and the weak recovery that has followed raise fundamental questions concerning macroeconomics and economic policy. These top economists discuss future directions for monetary policy, fiscal policy, financial regulation, capital-account management, growth strategies, the international monetary system, and the economic models that should underpin thinking about critical policy choices.

    Contributors Olivier Blanchard, Ricardo Caballero, Charles Collyns, Arminio Fraga, Már Guðmundsson, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Otmar Issing, Olivier Jeanne, Rakesh Mohan, Maurice Obstfeld, José Antonio Ocampo, Guillermo Ortiz, Y. V. Reddy, Dani Rodrik, David Romer, Paul Romer, Andrew Sheng, Hyun Song Shin, Parthasarathi Shome, Robert Solow, Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, Adair Turner

    • Hardcover $25.00 £20.00
    • Paperback $14.95 £11.99