23 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2010 Last revised: 10 Oct 2010
Date Written: September 27, 2010
In this paper I argue that the current core of macroeconomics - by which I mainly mean the so-called dynamic stochastic general equilibrium approach - has become so mesmerized with its own internal logic that it has begun to confuse the precision it has achieved about its own world with the precision that it has about the real one. This is dangerous for both methodological and policy reasons. On the methodology front, macroeconomic research has been in “fine-tuning” mode within the local-maximum of the dynamic stochastic general equilibrium world, when we should be in “broad-exploration” mode. We are too far from absolute truth to be so specialized and to make the kind of confident quantitative claims that often emerge from the core. On the policy front, this confused precision creates the illusion that a minor adjustment in the standard policy framework will prevent future crises, and by doing so it leaves us overly exposed to the new and unexpected.
Keywords: Pretense of knowledge, DSGE, core and periphery of macroeconomics, financial crisis, complexity, robust control, uncertainty, rational expectations
JEL Classification: A1, B4, E1, G01
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Caballero, Ricardo J., Macroeconomics after the Crisis: Time to Deal with the Pretense-of-Knowledge Syndrome (September 27, 2010). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 10-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1683617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1683617
By Alp Simsek