Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past
forthcoming, Journal of Economic Literature
51 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018 Last revised: 21 Oct 2021
Date Written: May 23, 2020
What is the state of macroeconomics? We explore this question by hand-collecting information on the epistemological approaches, theoretical and empirical methods and data sources used in macro research for 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 DSGEs. 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 10 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.
Keywords: macroeconomics, methods, research, macroeconomic publications
JEL Classification: A11, A14, B22, E00, O30
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