Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past
33 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018 Last revised: 3 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 20, 2019
What is the state of macroeconomics? We answer this question by hand collecting information about the epistemological approaches, theoretical and empirical methods, and data sources used by macroeconomists in their research. During the past 40 years there has been an increasing reliance on mathematical theory, particularly DSGE models, with theory-based papers now occupying the majority of space in macro journals. This shift is mirrored by a decline in the use of empirical falsification methods testing theoretical predictions. Microeconometric techniques have displaced time series methods, and empirical papers increasingly rely on micro and proprietary data sources. We document a decline and subsequent resurgence of financial frictions appearing in macro theory. Finally, we find that topics outside of macroeconomics are studied in more than three fourths of macro field journal publications.
Keywords: macroeconomics, methods, research, macroeconomic publications
JEL Classification: A11, A14, B22, E00, O30
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