Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past

45 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2022 Last revised: 16 Jun 2023

See all articles by Philip Glandon

Philip Glandon

Kenyon College

Kenneth N. Kuttner

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Williams College

Sandeep Mazumder

Baylor University

Caleb Stroup

Davidson College

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Date Written: January 2022


How is macroeconomic research conducted and what is it trying to accomplish? We explore these questions using information gleaned from 1,894 articles published in ten leading journals. We find that over the past 40 years there has been a growing emphasis on increasingly sophisticated quantitative theory, such as DSGE modeling, and papers employing these methods now 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. Econometric techniques borrowed from applied microeconomics have to a large extent 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 ten years. The frequency with which non-macro JEL codes appear in macro articles indicates a great deal of overlap between macroeconomics and other fields.

Suggested Citation

Glandon, Philip and Kuttner, Kenneth N. and Kuttner, Kenneth N. and Mazumder, Sandeep and Stroup, Caleb, Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past (January 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w29628, Available at SSRN:

Philip Glandon (Contact Author)

Kenyon College ( email )

Gambier, OH 43022
United States

Kenneth N. Kuttner

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Williams College ( email )

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


Sandeep Mazumder

Baylor University ( email )

School of Engineering & Computer Science
Waco, TX 76798
United States

Caleb Stroup

Davidson College ( email )

United States


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