Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another interesting article on macro ideas

Simon Wren-Lewis is a macroeconomist at Oxford, and he writes a blog called Mainly Macro - it's very good, and he writes in a style which should be accessible to all. He's written a post in the last day or so (currently in Japan so it's hard to tell when the days end and start relative to the UK) about macroeconomic ideas, and it's a good read.

He talks about how ideas become "controversial" in a somewhat cynical manner - because political parties set up think tanks who state bad economic ideas (tax cuts pay for themselves) and hence the media thinks there is a debate about these issues.

It's a cynical view, and it's one that elevates Simon Wren-Lewis's ideas about macroeconomics and dismisses discussion about ideas perhaps a little too much. There is something called mainstream macroeconomics, where the more accepted ideas lie, but there is still those on the fringes of the mainstream whose ideas aren't quite so widely accepted, and hopefully in econ101b we'll do justice not just to the mainstream, but also to the ideas that don't make up part of the mainstream.

There is a debate out there, and it does appear to be influence by values, or political leanings - as you'll be discussing in classes this week and next!

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