An Agenda Without a Plan: Robert E Lucas's Trajectory Through the Public Debate

The Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series at Duke University, No. 2018-14

26 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2018

See all articles by Aurélien Goutsmedt

Aurélien Goutsmedt

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Danielle Guizzo

University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Business School

Francesco Sergi

Université Paris Est Créteil, LIPHA

Date Written: September 5, 2018

Abstract

This article explores Robert E. Lucas’s policy agenda and his engagement with the public debate between 1968 and 1987. It investigates how he interacted with the public debate by envisioning key principles of his macroeconomic theory and methodology, and how he promoted his policy agenda. An exploration of Lucas’s personal and professional archives sheds light on his participation on policy debates after the publication of his topical works, illustrating how Lucas developed a unique way of dealing with science in the public debate by building a distinctive, discreet and cautious way of engaging with the public. Lucas did not embody the traditional elements of an “economic expert”: he did not envision an action plan, nor proposed a detailed program to successfully implement his policy agenda. The article suggests that, unlike other economic experts, Lucas’s participation in the public debate was “unintended”: the public always solicited Lucas to express his opinion and advice, not the opposite.

Keywords: Robert E. Lucas, Lucas Critique, Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, Tax Policy, Policy Rules

JEL Classification: B22, E30, H10

Suggested Citation

Goutsmedt, Aurélien and Guizzo, Danielle and Sergi, Francesco, An Agenda Without a Plan: Robert E Lucas's Trajectory Through the Public Debate (September 5, 2018). The Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series at Duke University, No. 2018-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3248550 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3248550

Aurélien Goutsmedt (Contact Author)

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne ( email )

17, rue de la Sorbonne
Paris, IL 75005
France

Danielle Guizzo

University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Business School ( email )

Frenchay Campus
Bristol, BS16 1QY
United Kingdom

Francesco Sergi

Université Paris Est Créteil, LIPHA ( email )

61 avenue du General de Gaulle
Créteil Cede, 94010
France

HOME PAGE: http://lipha.u-pec.fr/membres/membres-permanents/sergi-francesco-909980.kjsp?RH=1222865797626

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