Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past"

I am at the Liberal Arts Macro Workshop at Wake Forest University. The plenary talk last night was
by the authors of "Macroeconomic Research, Present and Past.Philip Glandon, Kenneth N. Kuttner, Sandeep Mazumder, and Caleb Stroup read over 1000 papers from five top macroeconomics journals to catalog the epistemology, methodology, theoretical framework, and several other key characteristics of the papers (see table below).

They read all regular articles (not e.g. book reviews) from the 2016-2017 issues of the the Journal of Monetary Economics (JME), the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (JEDC), the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking (JMCB), the Review of Economic Dynamics (RED), and the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics (AEJ). For the JME and the JMCB, they also read all articles from 1980, 1990, 2000, 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Source: Glandon, Kuttner, Mazumder, and Stroup, Table 1

The figure below shows how the share of papers in each epistemological approach has varied over time. "Model fitting" papers were almost non-existent in the 1980s, and now account for around a third of macro papers in the sample.
Source: Glandon, Kuttner, Mazumder, and Stroup

The authors also document a rise in the use of applied micro (as opposed to time series) empirical methods, and a very large rise in the use of proprietary data. Two additional tables are below, but there is much more of interest in the paper, so I recommend checking it out!
Source: Glandon, Kuttner, Mazumder, and Stroup

Source: Glandon, Kuttner, Mazumder, and Stroup

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