Macroeconometric Models

Six Decades of Economic Research at the Bank of England

This paper discusses the transformation of the content, role, and status of economic research at the Bank of England (BoE) in the past 60 years. We show how three factors (policy functions and missions of the Bank, its organisational structure, and the attitude of its executives towards economics) shaped the evolution of in-house BoE economic research during three distinctive periods (1960-1991; 1992-2007; 2007 - 2020). Our account relies on a broad set of sources and methods (BoE publications, archives, interviews with current and former BoE economists, citation analysis, prosopography, and topic modelling).

European Economics and the Early Years of the International Seminar on Macroeconomics

The International Seminar on Macroeconomics (ISoM) is an annual conference, which was co-sponsored during 15 years (1978-1993) by the French EHESS and the NBER. This article uncovers the scientific and institutional dynamics unrolling from this cooperation. We argue that macroeconomists gathered by the ISoM contributed greatly to the making of a European network of economists sharing similar professional and intellectual standards. We illustrate how the ISoM stood at the crossroad of two types of ‘internationalisation’ of economics: the integration of European national communitiesand the process of ‘Americanisation’ of economics. While existing literature on ‘internationalisation’ focuses on the national level, our contribution investigates the European level. Moreover, we unveil how two research programmes in macroeconomics (namely the disequilibrium theory and large-scale macroeconometric modelling) played a significant role in this process.

Reacting to the Lucas Critique: The Keynesians' Replies

In 1976, Robert Lucas explicitly criticized Keynesian macroeconometric models for their inability to correctly predict the effects of alternative economic policies. Today, most contemporary macroeconomists and some historians of economics consider that Lucas’s critique led forcefully to an immediate disqualification of the Keynesian macroeconometric approach. This narrative is based on the interpretation of the Lucas critique as a fundamental principle for economic reasoning that was (and still is) logically unquestionable. We consider that this narrative is problematic both in terms of historiography and the effects that it can have in the field as a way of assigning importance and credit to particular macroeconomists. Indeed, the point of view of the Keynesian economists is missing despite the fact that they were the target of Lucas’s paper and that throughout the 1970s and 1980s they produced a fierce reaction against it. In this article we analyze the reactions by a broad set of authors (which we label “Keynesians”) that disputed the relevance of the critique. In spite of their diversity in methodological, theoretical, and policy issues, these reactions were characterized by their common questioning of the empirical and practical relevance of the Lucas critique.

Macroeconomics at the crossroads: Stagflation and the struggle between “Keynesian” and New Classical macroeconometric programs

Lucas and Sargent’s “After Keynesian Macroeconomics” is considered as a cornerstone of macroeconomics history and is supposed to have seriously undermined “Keynesian” approach to macroeconometric modelling. I study the context of this article, its writing, its presentation in a conference with many advocates of large-scale models and the debates that followed. I demonstrate that the issue of stagflation was closely linked to Lucas and Sargent’s argument, and the opposition of “Keynesians” relied on their different interpretation of stagflation. I show this interpretation of stagflation led to a different research program, which has been overlooked by history of macroeconomics.

Criticizing the Lucas Critique: Macroeconometricians' Response to Robert Lucas

The purpose of this article is to provide a better explanation of the reactions of the Keynesian macroeconometricians to the Lucas Critique in the years following its publication and, finally, to provide a better explanation of the success of the Lucas Critique. Our explanation will be based on an interpretation of “Econometric Policy Evaluation” both as a positive and as a prescriptive statement. We think that this duality is present as well in Lucas's paper and in the reactions to it. This allows us to better understand why Kenesians did not provide a global, pertinent, convincing response to Lucas, which weakened their position inside the profession.