The Macroeconomics of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

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9780262061636: The Macroeconomics of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Graduate macroeconomics courses are becoming increasingly technical. Students must learn the tools of dynamic analysis and they must be able to apply these tools to the wide range of different models that constitute the body of macroeconomic theory. This text presents a unified treatment of these approaches by showing how all of the models are related to the microeconomic paradigm of general equilibrium theory. It particularly complements Blanchard and Fisher's "Lectures on Macroeconomics" by filling out the technical material omitted in that text. Farmer proposes that the general equilibrium model most appropriate as a basis for macroeconomics is very different from the microeconomic paradigm. In the context of macroeconomic models, he observes, it is often the case that the welfare theorems that capture the idea of "the invisible hand" will fail to hold. Farmer explains the consequences of this failure for the properties of dynamic economic models. Farmer argues throughout that the model of macroeconomics that is the best tool for understanding the facts is one in which the self-fulfilling expectations of individual agents can have important effects on economic activity. Several chapters present new research showing how the ideas presented in the first part of the book can be used to provide new insights into old problems.

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About the Author:

Roger Farmer is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Review:

Farmer's book is an excellent introduction to modern dynamic general equilibrium macroeconomics. It strikes a very nice balance between theoretical rigor and readability. I particularly like Farmer's emphasis on the interplay betwen theory and evidence in guiding frontier research.

(Martin Eichenbaum, Department of Economics, Northwestern University)

This is an excellent text book for first-year graduate macroeconomics courses that deal with modern macroeconomic theory and its relationship with general equilibrium analysis. Moreover, Farmer provides a systematic and insightful treatment of macroeconomic models with multiple equilibria.

(Jang-Ting Guo, Department of Economics, University of California)

The idea that changes in the beliefs of economic agents may play animportant role in business cycle fluctuations has made great strides duringthe last decade. Roger Farmer is a leader in this rapidly growing field ofresearch and this book is important reading for anyone interested in modernmacroeconomics.

(Sergio Rebelo, Tokai Bank Distinguished Professor of InternationalFinance, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University)

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Farmer, Roger E.A.
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Roger E.A. Farmer
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