Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past

35 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018

See all articles by Philip Glandon

Philip Glandon

Kenyon College

Kenneth N. Kuttner

Williams College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sandeep Mazumder

Wake Forest University - Department of Economics; Johns Hopkins University - Department of Economics; International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Caleb Stroup

Davidson College

Date Written: August 13, 2018


We document eight facts about published macroeconomics research by hand collecting information about the epistemological approaches, methods, and data appearing in over a thousand published papers. Macroeconomics journals have published an increasing share of theory papers over the past 38 years, with theory-based papers now comprising the majority of articles. Pure theory has to some extent been displaced by quantitative theoretical research, most commonly involving calibrated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. Financial intermediation played an important role in about a third of macroeconomic theory papers in the 1980s and 1990s, but became less frequent until the financial crisis, at which point it once again became an important area of focus. Only a quarter of macroeconomics publications conduct falsification exercises. This finding contrasts with the year 1980, when these empirical approaches dominated macroeconomics publishing. Yet the fraction of empirical papers that rely on microdata or proprietary data has increased dramatically over the past decade, with these features now appearing in the majority of published empirical papers. All of these findings vary widely across individual macroeconomics field journals.

Keywords: macroeconomics, methods, research, macroeconomic publications

JEL Classification: A11, A14, B22, E00, O30

Suggested Citation

Glandon, Philip and Kuttner, Kenneth N. and Mazumder, Sandeep and Stroup, Caleb, Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past (August 13, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Philip Glandon

Kenyon College ( email )

Gambier, OH 43022
United States

Kenneth N. Kuttner

Williams College ( email )

326 Schapiro Hall
24 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States
413-597-2300 (Phone)


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sandeep Mazumder

Wake Forest University - Department of Economics ( email )

Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States

Johns Hopkins University - Department of Economics ( email )

3400 Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2685
United States

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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