I am trying to self-study macroeconomics. I just read parts of "Advanced Macroeconomics" by Romer, and found it a good, intuitive introduction to more advanced models (I have also read a more basic book on ISLM/Solow models and such).

Now I am being told the next step is Recursive Macroeconomic Theory. What are the contents of this book, i.e. what useful topics and methods does one learn that are not present in the Romer book?

Also, I am considering reading either RMT, or maybe something on Business cycles and the short run, which I haven't really read much of, the focus so far in the books has mainly been long-run economic growth... What is recommended to read first?

  • $\begingroup$ Hi: Unfortunately, I can't help you with your question but I'm trying to self-study it also. If you don't mind me asking, what is the basic book that explain ISLM and Solow and did you like it ? Thanks. P.S: I don't know the one you mentioned but macroeconomic theory ( 1979) by Sargent is terse and difficult ( for me ) but quite good at the same time. Some version of it is on the net if you need to preview it. I can find it if you can't so let me know and good luck with self-studying. $\endgroup$
    – mark leeds
    May 21, 2018 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ For an alternative (and completely free) next step, you can take a look at quantecon.org. $\endgroup$ May 21, 2018 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


I guess you mean some edition of Ljungqvist, L., & Sargent, T. J. Recursive macroeconomic theory. MIT press.

This is a very valuable book, but not for acquiring a concrete theoretical knowledge. Copying from its marketing-speak,

Only experience in solving practical problems fully conveys the power of the recursive approach, and the book provides many applications.

Now really, it provides only applications. I do not mean empirical-econometric applications, but presentation of dozens of theoretical models from very different sub-fields and their workings under the Recursive Approach. Mind you, the models themselves are summarily presented, with the implicit understanding that the reader already is familiar with, or will go and study the original papers first. Moreover, a lot of theoretical/mathematical underlying knowledge is taken for granted.


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