Macroeconomic Research: Present and Past
Philip J. Glandon
- Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
How is macroeconomic research conducted and what is it trying to accomplish? We explore these questions using information on the epistemological approaches, theoretical and empirical methods and data sources gleaned from 1,894 published papers. We find that over the past 40 years there has been a growing emphasis on increasingly sophisticated quantitative theory, such as DSGE modeling. Papers employing these methods account for the majority of articles in macro journals. The shift towards quantitative theory is mirrored by a decline in the use of econometric methods to test economic hypotheses. Microeconometric techniques have displaced time series methods, and empirical papers increasingly rely on micro and proprietary data sources. Market imperfections are pervasive, and the amount of research involving financial frictions has increased significantly in the past ten years. The frequency with which non-macro JEL codes appear in macro articles indicates a a great deal of overlap between macroeconomics and other fields.
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