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Questions tagged [macroeconomics]

Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the aggregate economy as a whole, rather than individual markets.

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65
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13answers
17k views

Fundamental equations in economics

For the other sciences it´s easy to point to the most important equations that ground the discipline. If I want to explain Economics to a physicist say, what are considered to be the most important ...
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4answers
12k views

Why do economists disagree so much?

I'm coming at this from a scientific point of view, having had no formal training in economics - most of what I know about it was from self-studying an undergraduate economics textbook. My question ...
37
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7answers
3k views

Seminal papers that later were proven to contain errors

I was reading on institutions, and I came across Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (AJR) paper on The Colonial Origins of comparative development: An Empirical Investigation, and this paper seemed so '...
35
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11answers
7k views

What is the economic purpose of increasing the minimum wage?

It is generally accepted among economists that minimum wage warps the equilibrium point between the supply and demand of labor by instituting a price floor and increases unemployment for unskilled ...
27
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3answers
5k views

What has caused the recent 25% unemployment rate in Spain?

The unemployment rate in Spain has recently been fluctuating around 25%. What has caused this?
26
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10answers
11k views

People pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation

"If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash ...
26
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1answer
432 views

How do Gini coefficients correlate with the cost of higher education?

Are there any studies that explore the higher net present value (NPV) of education in countries with higher Gini coefficients? Additionally, do any of these studies include the impacts of economic ...
25
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6answers
3k views

Is zero inflation desirable?

Is zero inflation really desirable? To be more precise: Does inflation in real life have benefits that in some situations outweigh its social cost? E.g.: it works as a disincentive against holding ...
25
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4answers
2k views

From an economics perspective, what are the ramifications of a currency with fixed money supply?

I'm thinking specifically of bitcoins. What are the pros and cons of having a fixed number of coins, as opposed to more "normal" currencies? Would the currency have no inflation?
21
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3answers
1k views

In what sense are “new-Keynesian” models “new” and in what sense are they “Keynesian”?

Hopefully, the title of this question is quite descriptive. Whilst I have a broad understanding of the research agenda of macroeconomics, I don't have a very good picture of how it is divided into ...
21
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2answers
3k views

Should we expect more structural technological unemployment if growth becomes more limited by natural resources and less by labour?

Technological unemployment, where unemployment arises from (with some oversimplification) workers being replaced by machines, has so far been temporary as new jobs were created that replaced the old ...
18
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2answers
751 views

Why is capital income taxed differently than wage income?

Why is income from capital gains taxed differently than wage income? There are perhaps historical, practical, and theoretical reasons. What are they? (As far as historical reason go, I'm asking ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Unemployment and the Minimum Wage---what are the main counter-arguments to Card and Krueger?

Card and Krueger's paper (AER 1994, "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania") uses a difference-in-difference identification strategy to ...
16
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3answers
4k views

What does Yanis Varoufakis mean by “surplus recycling mechanism”?

Yanis Varoufakis, the current finance minister of Greece, talks about a "surplus recycling mechanism", a term he coined and uses to describe (as I understand it) a relief valve for economies running a ...
15
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2answers
727 views

Complete Markets in Continuous Time

In the standard discrete time economies with a finite number of states, $n$, a complete markets economy is simply an economy with $n$ independent assets (Think Ljunqvist and Sargent Chapter 8). This ...
15
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5answers
4k views

How do economies grow?

These days, we hear again and again about the so-called "need" for economic growth. But how do countries actually grow economically? That is, why/how does their GDP increase over time? Related, what ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Should Finland leave the eurozone?

Finland's economic recovery from the shock of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 has been very weak. The country has been in recession for the past three years, with GDP expected to expand by ...
13
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3answers
884 views

What benefits does Bitcoin (i.e. cryptocurrency) offer?

I really, really like moderate inflation. I live in Sweden where the interest rates just went negative because we are on the brink of deflation, and the rate of inflation we have now is far too low. ...
13
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4answers
3k views

How does a national budget differ from a household budget?

We are often told by pundits that "Country X cannot spend more than they take in in revenue, because a house that makes A and spends B will always collapse if B>A". Essentially the siren calls of a ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Larry Summers on the causes of secular stagnation

In an influential speech on November 8, 2013 at the IMF Annual Research Conference, Larry Summers suggested that slow economic growth in the years following the 2007–2008 financial crisis might be due ...
13
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1answer
298 views

Barro's (2009) rare disaster model in the AER: How to derive equation (10)?

In Barro (2009) Rare disasters, asset prices and welfare costs Barro develops a Lucas tree model with Epstein-Zin preferences. My question concerns the paper's equation (10). In this equation Barro ...
12
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7answers
2k views

Textbook for macroeconomics (advanced undergrad)

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 ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Why must the rate of GDP growth be positive?

There are always expectations that GDP should be growing at a certain rate. This is what I see in the newspapers. I am not an economics major and this is a very basic student question. After adjusting ...
12
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5answers
855 views

What are is the reasoning behind the sharp fall of oil prices starting in mid 2014?

Things I have considered: Poor economic conditions around the world could have caused an unpredicted decrease in demand. The resulting surplus has begun driving prices down. This could be ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Why in most macro models technology is labor-augmenting?

Take Romer's advanced macro book as reference. In it the Solow model,the Ramsey model and the Diamond OLG all contain the fundamental $A_t$ variable representing technological progress. In all these ...
12
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2answers
389 views

The Case for Basic Income in developed and underdeveloped countries

From what I can tell, the idea of the basic income guarantee is very popular in some circles as an excellent alternative to a lot of modern welfare systems. Has anybody developed a theoretic or ...
12
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2answers
219 views

Why use empirical macroeconomic models when they are not policy invariant (Lucas Critique)?

With high probability this question is duplicate, and I tried to find one already in the community, but I was unsuccessful. According to the Lucas Critique, in its more general terms, the problem ...
11
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2answers
197 views

Optimality of Zero Capital Taxation

The Chamley-Judd result of zero optimal capital taxation says that 0 capital taxation are required in order to maximize welfare at the steady state. The result is 30 years old. Still assuming that ...
11
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2answers
969 views

Inflation and economic growth

Noticeable works about the impact of inflation on economic growth are dated back to the 90s. For example, Barro (1995): the impact effects from an increase in average inflation by 10 percentage ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “aggregation” and a “representative agent?”

What is the difference between "aggregation" and a "representative agent?" I'm sorry if I'm not entirely clear on this question, but that's why I ask. It seems to me as if a representative agent is ...
11
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2answers
219 views

Why plug deficits with bonds rather than printing money?

The UK is running a budget deficit £107 billion a year. Inflation is currently running at 1%. Given these facts, why do they plug the gap by selling debt rather than just creating the money to cover ...
11
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1answer
411 views

Is elasticity of substitution between goods empirically constant?

In New Keynesian models, we use a lot of CES assumption, usually Dixit-Stiglitz, to develop an economic model. Is CES, constant elasticity of substitution between goods, empirically (approximately) ...
11
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1answer
251 views

What are the economic impacts of different professions?

Every dollar a research worker earns makes the economy \$5 better off and every dollar a finance worker makes costs the economy \$0.60 So Reddit Economics yesterday posited and later retracted the ...
11
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2answers
399 views

Real option effect of uncertainty - irreversiblity vs fixed cost

There is a growing literature (e.g. Bloom, 2009) studying negative macroeconomic impacts of heightened uncertainty. One channel through which uncertainty can discourage economic activity, and ...
11
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1answer
360 views

Neo Keynesian Modelling and the Lucas Critique

Some people from the more extreme microfoundations/internal consistency camp keep bashing the Neo Keynesian model for the Calvo pricing being not micro founded and hence the whole model not being ...
10
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2answers
150 views

Schumpeterian Business Cycles

The basic idea of Schumpeterian Business Cycles is that new technologies require creative destruction but will yield positive growth. These two opposing forces have impacts onto the real economy at ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?

I suppose GDP is supposed to create a measure of a country's wealth/welfare, something easily indexable. But how exactly is it composed? And is its composition disputed? How good is it at measuring a ...
10
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3answers
893 views

What is the calculable effect of counterfeiting on an economy?

I'm curious whether one can numerically calculate the effect that counterfeiting has on an economy. As I understand it, counterfeiting essentially amounts to theft of the wealth of everybody holding ...
10
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2answers
820 views

Simulating Real Business Cycle

Basically I need to replicate Hartley's 'A User's Guide to Solving Real Business Cycle Models' (http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/kdsalyer/LECTURES/Ecn235a/Linearization/ugfinal.pdf). Specifically, ...
10
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3answers
4k views

Log-linearization of Euler equation with an expectation term

There are a few online resources available to help with log-linearization (e.g., here or here). However, log-linearization where an expectation is involved is a little tricky because the log can't ...
10
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1answer
319 views

Straub and Werning, 2014, on zero capital taxation

This is a test balloon to see whether these kinds of questions are appreciated/welcome on Econ.SE: I had a hard time grasping Straub and Werning (2014) (no paywall). I understand the general ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Has the world become poorer?

This question is not backed by serious economic research but mainly by a very simple attempt to look at how the world economy has changed. I am asking whether and why the world has, over the past 50 ...
9
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3answers
335 views

Which capital accumulation is right? $K_t = (1-\delta)K_{t-1} +I_t$ or $K_t = (1-\delta)K_{t-1}+I_{t-1}$?

In a lot of models with capital, I find different variants of capital accumulation formula as follows: $K_t = (1-\delta)K_{t-1} +I_t$ or $K_t = (1-\delta)K_{t-1}+I_{t-1}$ Which one is more ...
9
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3answers
1k views

In log-linearized New Keynesian model, what do $Y$, $Y_t$, $y_t$ actually mean?

This may be a weird question, but I am unfortunately confused by terms. Let us suppose log-linearized New Keynesian model as suggested by Gali here: http://crei.cat/people/gali/pdf_files/monograph/...
9
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3answers
48k views

What is the difference between intensive margin and extensive margin in labor economics?

What is the difference between intensive margin and extensive margin in labor economics, or general RBC model, where we talk about labor-hours supplied changing with extensive margin or intensive ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Why is capital often not included in New Keynesian models? Is there a reason other than modeling difficulty?

In New Keynesian models, like the ones in Gali's simple New Keynesian model or even Mankiw-Reis NK model on sticky information, capital is often not included. Now people do say that there are ...
9
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3answers
478 views

Would healthcare costs increase (in the long term) if all smokers quit?

According to research by Jan J. Barendregt, M.A., Luc Bonneux, M.D., and Paul J. van der Maas, Ph.D.: RESULTS Health care costs for smokers at a given age are as much as 40 percent higher than ...
9
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7answers
67k views

How interest rate affects currency

I am quite new to economics. I was reading about changes in interest rates and its effect on currency value. The fact is as interest rates increases, the currency value also increases and vice versa....
9
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3answers
313 views

Causes of income inequality in the US

I read an article in BusinessWeek that talked about income inequality in the US. The article attributed the difference to the Intel chip that came in 1971. Since that time big hi-tech companies have ...
9
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1answer
11k views

Lagrangian: How to understand the No-Ponzi Condition

In http://www.uni-hamburg.de/fachbereiche-einrichtungen/fb03/iwwt/makro/slides2.pdf page 8, lagrangian is written as follow: $$L = E_0 \sum_{t=0}^{\infty}\beta^t\{U(C_t,N_t) + \lambda_t(P_tC_t + ...