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Publish and Perish: Creative Destruction and Macroeconomic Theory

Chatelain, Jean-Bernard and Ralf, Kirsten (2018): Publish and Perish: Creative Destruction and Macroeconomic Theory. Published in: History of Economic Ideas , Vol. 2, No. 26 (2018): pp. 65-101.

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Abstract

A number of macroeconomic theories, very popular in the 1980s, seem to have completely disappeared and been replaced by the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) approach. We will argue that this replacement is due to a tacit agreement on a number of assumptions, previously seen as mutually exclusive, and not due to a settlement by ‘nature’. As opposed to econometrics and microeconomics and despite massive progress in the access to data and the use of statistical software, macroeconomic theory appears not to be a cumulative science so far. Observational equivalence of different models and the problem of identification of parameters of the models persist as will be highlighted by examining two examples: one in growth theory and a second in testing inflation persistence.

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