Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

The Problem with Macro is Micro

John Quiggin makes the broad case (link fixed).

If you are then stuck with trying to present a Grand Unified Field Theory, you will inevitably lose (or, at best, reduce) the importance of all the agglomerations that follow from the presumption that the Rational Actor is the mean performer—ignoring that no one, including the economists themselves, believes that to be true in their own lives, let alone the lives of others.

Micromotives and Macro Behavior indeed. But no molecular biologist (or even biologists) would try to build on the Phlogiston Theory.

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It Looks Like a Great House. Why Does the Basement Always Flood?

Come on, guys, somebody take it to the Next Step.

Matt Y comes closer than anyone else to getting to the truth of the problem with Macroeconomics. Following Justin FoxSteven Levitt’s summary, Matt asks the next question:

So why should it be that “in the current regime, if [macro models] are not meticulously constructed from ‘micro foundations,’ they aren’t allowed to be considered”?

There’s a hint in the title of this post.

Edited to fix attribution.

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