Weitere Kapitel dieses Buchs durch Wischen aufrufen
We opened this book by arguing that mainstream macroeconomics is in troubled methodological and explanatory waters. Throughout it we advocated that a possible way out from this quandary is a bottom-up approach: let us start from the analysis of the behaviour of heterogeneous constitutive elements (defined in terms of simple, observation-based behavioural rules) and their local interactions, and allow for the possibility that interaction nodes and individual rules change in time (adaptation). At the next meso-level, statistical regularities emerge that cannot be inferred from the primitives of individuals (self-emerging regularities). This emergent behaviour feeds back to the individual level (downward causation), but also produces aggregate regularities at the next hierarchical level. High-levels (macroeconomic) systems possess new and different properties than low-level (microeconomic) systems, like water has different properties from the atoms of hydrogen and oxygen that constitute it, as well as from ice and steam, and from the multicellular living organisms containing it. This approach allows each and every proposition to be falsified at micro, meso and macro levels and, de facto, it opposes to the mainstream axiomatic theory of economics, where microeconomic optimization is considered the rule for any rigorous scientific practice.
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In the U.S., the burst of the dot.com bubble on Wall Street in 2000 caused a loss in real GDP of around 1%. Contrast it with the currently estimated 8% loss associated to defaults in subprime mortgages, a tiny fraction of the market for loans.
Not to talk of the possibility, suggested by Keynes in his General Theory, that the economy possesses multiple natural rates, many of which compatible with involuntary unemployment.
In a previous life, Governor Bernanke made use of a New-Keynesian DSGE framework to ask himself whether central bankers should respond to movements in asset prices, and the answer he gave is negative: “Changes in asset prices should affect monetary policy only to the extent that they affect the central bank’s forecast of inflation. To a first approximation, once the predictive content of asset prices for inflation has been accounted for, there should be no additional response of monetary policy to asset-price fluctuations” ( Bernanke and Gertler, 2001, p. 253). Notice, incidentally, that the same conclusion is still sustained by recent research (conducted, needless to say, by means of a structural DSGE model) at the IMF (International Monetary Fund, 2009).
On these points, see also Anufriev et al. (2009).
Domenico Delli Gatti
- Springer Milan
- Chapter 5
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