Robert J. Gordon and the Introduction of the Natural Rate Hypothesis in the Keynesian Framework


This article studies the dissemination of the Natural Rate of Unemployment Hypothesis (NRH) in macroeconomics during the 1970s, by studying the reaction of Robert J. Gordon to the argument of Friedman (1968). In the early 1970s, Gordon opposed the NRH, arguing that the estimated parameter on expected inflation was below one. Confronting to new data and to rising inflation, Gordon adopted the NRH after 1973. Nevertheless, the adoption anticipated any clear empirical proof. We explain that this conversion was due to Friedman’s influence on Gordon, but also to the fact it did not prevent Gordon to support active stabilization policies.

Aurélien Goutsmedt
Aurélien Goutsmedt
Post-Doctoral Researcher

My research interests include history of economics, economic expertise and bibliometrics.