Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Axel Leijonhufvud on New Keynesian Macroeconomics

Axel lamented:

New Keynesians adhere on the whole to the same DSGE modeling technology as RBC macroeconomists but differ in the extent to which they emphasise inflexibilities of prices or other contract terms as sources of short-term adjustment problems in the economy. Except for this stress on inflexibilities this brand of contemporary macroeconomic theory has basically nothing Keynesian about it. (my emphasis)...

The obvious objection to this kind of return to an earlier way of thinking about macroeconomic problems is that the major problems that have had to be confronted in the last twenty or so years have originated in the financial markets - and prices in those markets are anything
but inflexible.

This bit is even better:

But there is also a general theoretical problem that has been festering for decades with very little in the way of attempts to tackle it. Economists talk freely about inflexible or rigid prices all the time, despite the fact that we do not have a shred of theory that could provide criteria for judging whether a particular price is more or less flexible than appropriate to the proper functioning of the larger system. (my emphasis)

Read the whole thing here.

BTW, Axel was at UCLA and one of Professor Steven N S Cheung's colleague.

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