The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 11, 2001 - Business & Economics - 186 pages
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The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics stakes out a pragmatic middle-ground between traditional, prescriptive economic methodology and recent descriptive (sociological or rhetorical) methodology. The former is sometimes seen as arrogantly telling economists how to do their work and the latter as irrelevant to their practice. The lectures are built around a case study of a concrete example of macroeconomic analysis. They demonstrate that economic methodology and the philosophy of science offer insights that help to resolve the genuine concerns of macroeconomists. Some examples of questions addressed include: What is the relationship between theoretical models and empirical observations? What is the relevance of macroeconomics to policy? Should macroeconomics be viewed as a special case of microeconomics? What is the place of long-standing philosophical issues in macroeconomics, such as the scope and nature of economic laws, the role of idealizations, methodological individualism, and the problem of causality?
 

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The most important thing you need to know about this short book is that it's based on a series of lectures. Apparently the lecture material has been expanded only a little bit, that's why the book is ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
ix
Some Methodological Problems in Macroeconomics
1
Are There Macroeconomic Laws?
17
Does Macroeconomics Need Microfoundations?
57
Causality in Macroeconomics
89
Pragmatism Realism and the Practice of Macroeconomics
135
Bibliography
169
Index
179
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About the author (2001)

Kevin D. Hoover is Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Duke University. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. He developed his interest in applied macroeconomics early in his career while working at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Before moving to Duke, Hoover taught economics at the University of California, Davis, and at Oxford. He is the author of The New Classical Macroeconomics (1988), Causality in Macroeconomics (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and The Methodology of Empirical Macroeconomics (Cambridge University Press, 2001), as well as nine edited volumes and more than 100 academic articles on macroeconomics, monetary economics, econometrics, the methodology and philosophy of economics, and the history of economic thought. He is past chairman of the International Network for Economic Method, the past president of the History of Economics Society and a former editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology. He is currently the editor of the journal History of Political Economy and a Fellow of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University.

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