I find that many contemporary macroeconomics textbooks are too applied, filled with examples, case studies and intuitive illustrations, often at the expense of quantitative rigour and therefore the depth of the understanding they convey.

Is there a canonical, quantitative textbook for central macroeconomic concepts and models? This should be preferably readable at an advanced undergraduate level.

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    $\begingroup$ Lets try to stick with the meta guide line: One suggestion per answer, s.t. we can vote on books individually. $\endgroup$
    – FooBar
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 20:54

7 Answers 7


Advanced Macroeconomics by David Romer, now in its fourth edition. Link contains TOC and a sample chapter.

The presentation consists of formal theory models, but with lots of intuition too, followed by light empirical applications.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This book, on the new-keynesian model, if I remember corretly, takes many liberties which are not allowed, all to be more intuitive... $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ The New Keynesian topics are only ~2.5 chapters, and those have been much improved since the previous edition. $\endgroup$
    – dimitriy
    Commented Dec 26, 2014 at 16:23

Recursive Macroeconomic Theory

By Lars Ljungqvist and Thomas J. Sargent

Assuming you want rigor, it's better to try this graduate-level textbook early and pick later things you need to understand it.

  • $\begingroup$ What a book this is. Certainly not the easiest path to glory, but that's certainly how you master concepts. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11 at 15:16

Introduction to Modern Economic Growth

By Daron Acemoglu

As with Ljungqvist and Sargent, I believe it's better to overshoot undergrad econ than to look for simple texts. Despite the title, this introductory graduate textbook by Acemoglu prepares the reader for macro. The book presents the neoclassical growth model and its various enhancements (which you'll see elsewhere later). Thorough and clear exposition, math appendix, many exercises for self-learning.


Macroeconomic Theory - Benassy

All of the books suggested are great. I also like Macroeconomic Theory by Benassy as it's not too difficult to follow and is on the level of Romer. Great reference for looking up certain models or getting some intuition on theory. This is my go to when looking up a basic model and then I'll reference Romer for more insight.


Although I have my reservations as to whether this book would be suitable for an undergraduate level, I could be wrong.

I will include the following book as it is by no means less accessible than other textbooks listed here (eg Recursive macroeconomics theory) but is equally-if not more-appealing.

The book is Lectures on Macroeconomics by Blanchard, O. J. & S. Fischer

One other perhaps less exotic option would be:

Scarth, W. Macroeconomics The development of modern methods for policy analysis

Some other options would be:


In my university, lecturers of Advanced Macroeconomics at the undergraduate level use the following books:

These are references for the following series of topics:

1 - Monetary Policy

2 - Sticky Price Models

3 - Macroeconomics at the Zero Lower Bound

4 - Open Economy

5 - Economic Growth

6 - Inter-temporal Macro

7 - Debt and Fiscal Policy

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    $\begingroup$ Carlin and Soskice (2005) is a really good option $\endgroup$
    – user14471
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 9:23

I like Introducing Advanced Macroeconomics: Growth and Business Cycles by Sorensen and Whitta-Jacobsen. An accessible UG book.

Another very accesible text is Macroeconomic Theory by Wickens. It is a gradulate level book, but is suitable for advanced UG courses in Economics.


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