Advanced Macroeconomics 1
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Division: The New School for Social Research
Course Number: GECO 6202
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
The course aims to develop Macroeconomic Theory, associated with one strand of the NSSR critical tradition, from Knut Wicksell to Lance Taylor, via Lindahl, Myrdal and Keynes – although, of course, this line of thought can be traced back to the founding father of Political Economy (Willim Petty). This means, also, a parallel – but critical - focus on the evolving ‘theoretical technologies’ (pace Lucas, 1981, p.9?) of macroeconomics, from Ramsey to the Recursive Macroeconomics of the Newclassicals: i.e., from the calculus of variations (in its classical modes) to the three so-called recursive tools of ‘modern’ macro, Markov Decision Processes, Kalman Filtering and Dynamic Programming. Monetary theory and policy forms the natural backdrop against which both the evolution of macroeconomic theory – from the bimetallism debates and the golden age of the gold standard – and its policy-oriented debates, will be discussed and presented (with a focus on the debates of the interwar years, and a demonstration of that era’s topics being central, even in modern policy stances). The theory of economic policy (from the Frisch-Tinbergen target-instrument approach, via the macroeconomic stabilization policy tradition of ‘Phillips before the Phillips Curve’, to the policy-nihilism expressed in a reliance on the two fundamental theorems of welfare economics by Lucas and his followers), as an intrinsic component of any tradition of macroeconomic theory, will underpin the ‘second leg’ on which the construction and structure of the course will depend. The ‘third leg’, of an – appropriately Cambridge ‘Tripod’ – will be capital theory and the theory of functional income distribution, where the focus would be on the ‘Cambridge Controversies’, and their various afterglows. There will be no assigned ‘textbook’, in any customary sense, for this course. But all who desire to attend the lectures should be fairly ‘decently’ familiar with the theoretical, historical and conceptual contents and arguments in the following ‘classics’: • Interest and Prices (Geldzins und Güterpreise) by Knut Wicksell (tr. by Richard Kahn), Macmillan, London, 1936. • The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes, Macmillan, London, 1936 • Maynard’s Revenge – The Collapse of Free Market Macroeconomics by Lance Taylor, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2010.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions