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Reconstructing Macroeconomics
by Lance TAYLOR
Harvard University Press, 2004
Cloth: 978-0-674-01073-4 | eISBN: 978-0-674-04423-4
Library of Congress Classification HB172.5.T393 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 339


Macroeconomics is in disarray. No one approach is dominant, and an increasing divide between theory and empirics is evident.

This book presents both a critique of mainstream macroeconomics from a structuralist perspective and an exposition of modern structuralist approaches. The fundamental assumption of structuralism is that it is impossible to understand a macroeconomy without understanding its major institutions and distributive relationships across productive sectors and social groups.

Lance Taylor focuses his critique on mainstream monetarist, new classical, new Keynesian, and growth models. He examines them from a historical perspective, tracing monetarism from its eighteenth-century roots and comparing current monetarist and new classical models with those of the post-Wicksellian, pre-Keynesian generation of macroeconomists. He contrasts the new Keynesian vision with Keynes's General Theory, and analyzes contemporary growth theories against long traditions of thought about economic development and structural change.

Table of Contents:



1. Social Accounts and Social Relations
1. A Simple Social Accounting Matrix
2. Implications of the Accounts
3. Disaggregating Effective Demand
4. A More Realistic SAM
5. Stock-Flow Relationships
6. A SAM and Asset Accounts for the United States
7. Further Thoughts

2. Prices and Distribution
1. Classical Macroeconomics
2. Classical Theories of Price and Distribution
3. Neoclassical Cost-Based Prices
4. Hat Calculus, Measuring Productivity Growth, and Full Employment Equilibrium
5. Mark-up Pricing in the Product Market
6. Efficiency Wages for Labor
7. New Keynesian Crosses and Methodological Reservations
8. First Looks at Inflation

3. Money, Interest, and Inflation
1. Money and Credit
2. Diverse Interest Theories
3. Interest Rate Cost-Push
4. Real Interest Rate Theory
5. The Ramsey Model
6. Dynamics on a Flying Trapeze
7. The Overlapping Generations Growth Model
8. Wicksell's Cumulative Process Inflation Model
9. More on Inflation Taxes

4. Effective Demand and Its Real and Financial Implications
1. The Commodity Market
2. Macro Adjustment via Forced Saving and Real Balance Effects
3. Real Balances, Input Substitution, and Money Wage Cuts
4. Liquidity Preference and Marginal Efficiency of Capital
5. Liquidity Preference, Fisher Arbitrage, and the Liquidity Trap
6. The System as a Whole
7. The IS/LM Model
8. Keynes and Friends on Financial Markets
9. Financial Markets and Investment
10. Consumption and Saving
11 "Disequilibrium" Macroeconomics
12. A Structuralist Synopsis

5. Short-Term Model Closure and Long-Term Growth
1. Model "Closures" in the Short Run
2. Graphical Representations and Supply-Driven Growth
3. Harrod, Robinson, and Related Stories
4. More Stable Demand-Determined Growth

6. Chicago Monetarism, New Classical Macroeconomics, and Mainstream Finance
1. Methodological Caveats
2. A Chicago Monetarist Model
3. A Cleaner Version of Monetarism
4. New Classical Spins
5. Dynamics of Government Debt
6. Ricardian Equivalence
7. The Business Cycle Conundrum
8. Cycles from the Supply Side
9. Optimal Behavior under Risk
10. Random Walk, Equity Premium, and the Modigliani-Miller Theorem
11. More on Modigliani-Miller
12. The Calculation Debate and Super-Rational Economics

7. Effective Demand and the Distributive Curve
1. Initial Observations
2. Inflation, Productivity Growth, and Distribution
3. Absorbing Productivity Growth
4. Effects of Expansionary Policy
5. Financial Extensions
6. Dynamics of the System
7. Comparative Dynamics
8. Open Economy Complications

8. Structuralist Finance and Money
1. Banking History and Institutions
2. Endogenous Finance
3. Endogenous Money via Bank Lending
4. Money Market Funds and the Level of Interest Rates
5. Business Debt and Growth in a Post-Keynesian World
6. New Keynesian Approaches to Financial Markets

9. A Genus of Cycles
1. Goodwin's Model
2. A Structuralist Goodwin Model
3. Evidence for the United States
4. A Contractionary Devaluation Cycle
5. An Inflation Expectations Cycle
6. Confidence and Multiplier
7. Minsky on Financial Cycles
8. Excess Capacity, Corporate Debt Burden, and a Cold Douche
9. Final Thoughts

10. Exchange Rate Complications
1. Accounting Conundrums
2. Determining Exchange Rates
3. Asset Prices, Expectations, and Exchange Rates
4. Commodity Arbitrage and Purchasing Power Parity
5. Portfolio Balance
6. Mundell-Fleming
7. IS/LM Comparative Statics
8. UIP and Dynamics
9. Open Economy Monetarism
10. Dornbusch
11. Other Theories of the Exchange Rate
12. A Developing Country Debt Cycle
13. Fencing in the Beast

11. Growth and Development Theories
1. New Growth Theories and Say's Law
2. Distribution and Growth
3. Models with Binding Resource or Sectoral Supply Constraints
4. Accounting for Growth
5. Other Perspectives
6. The Mainstream Policy Response
7. Where Theory Might Sensibly Go


Reconstructing Macroeconomics is a stunning intellectual achievement. It surveys an astonishing range of macroeconomic problems and approaches in a compact, coherent critical framework with unfailing depth, wit, and subtlety. Lance Taylor's pathbreaking work in structural macroeconomics and econometrics sets challenging standards of rigor, realism, and insight for the field. Taylor shows why the structuralist and Keynesian insistence on putting accounting consistency, income distribution, and aggregate demand at the center of macroeconomic analysis is indispensable to understanding real-world macroeconomic events in both developing and developed economies. The book is full of new results, modeling techniques, and shrewd suggestions for further research. Taylor's scrupulous and balanced appraisal of the whole range of macroeconomic schools of thought will be a source of new perspectives to macroeconomists of every persuasion.
--Duncan K. Foley, New School University

Lance Taylor has produced a masterful and comprehensive critical survey of existing macro models, both mainstream and structuralist, which breaks considerable new ground. The pace is brisk, the level is high, and the writing is entertaining. The author's sense of humor and literary references enliven the discussion of otherwise arcane and technical, but extremely important, issues in macro theory. This book is sure to become a standard reference that future generations of macroeconomists will refer to for decades to come.
--Robert Blecker, American University

While there are other books dealing with heterodox macroeconomics, this book surpasses them all in the quality of its presentation and in the careful treatment and criticism of orthodox macroeconomics including its recent contributions. The book is unique in the way it systematically covers heterodox growth theory and its relations to other aspects of heterodox macroeconomics using a common organizing framework in terms of accounting relations, and in the way it compares the theories with mainstream contributions. Another positive and novel feature of the book is that it takes a long view of the development of economic ideas, which leads to a more accurate appreciation of the real contributions by recent theoretical developments than is possible in a presentation that ignores the history of macroeconomics.
--Amitava Dutt, University of Notre Dame

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