Dienstag, 26. November 2013

Saltwater Revolution?

Noah Smith verweist auf seinem Blog auf einen Artikel, den er zusammen mit M. Kimball über die Einordnung der Entlassung zweier führender Ökonomen an der Minneapolis Fed geschrieben hat.

"[...] although the Minneapolis Fed shakeup could be due to any number of reasons—a personality conflict, a disagreement over the Fed bank’s mission, etc.–one possibility is that the personnel changes are related to Fed officials’ changing attitude toward business cycles. To understand that possibility, it is crucial to understand an academic controversy that has been simmering for decades.[...]

[...] one of the economists dismissed from the Fed, is a key figure in a school of economics called “Freshwater Macroeconomics” (the other [...] is his frequent co-author). The labels “Freshwater” and “Saltwater” go back to the arguments and new ideas generated by the double-digit inflation in the 1970s. The names refer to the geography of key combatants in that period, when economists at the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Minnesota spearheaded the “Rational Expectations Revolution.” They believed that people are very, very smart and sensible in their economic decisions. Taken to its logical extreme, the idea of economic rationality led the Nobel-winning Freshwater pioneer Edward Prescott to argue that recessions are not economic failures, but instead are inevitable, healthy outcomes of economies responding to the uneven pace of technological progress. In other words, Prescott and the economists who followed his lead said that the government shouldn’t try to fight recessions.[...]

The Freshwater school gained enormous clout in the ‘80s. But in the ‘90s, there was a counterattack from the coast. The Saltwater macroeconomists believed that recessions were economic failures, and that monetary policy was important in fighting them. Led by Michael Woodford, they adopted the tools and language of the Freshwater economists, and managed to convince many of their Freshwater brethren to reluctantly agree that monetary policy can, in fact, boost the economy. But one bastion of hard-line freshwater thinking held firm: “Minnesota macro.” The researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Fed have largely hung onto the belief that monetary policy can affect inflation, but can’t fight recessions.

But there is good reason to think that this view is losing credibility at the Fed.[...]"
Ich habe schon auch den Eindruck, dass der Konsens sich ein Stück weit dahingehend bewegt, dass (schwere) Rezessionen  wieder eher als Folge von irrationalen Übertreibungen und Marktimperfektionen gesehen werden - und der Wirtschaftspolitik deswegen eine aktive Rolle zugesprochen wird.

Insgesamt ist dies aber ein langsamer Prozess, der wohl eher mit dem Begriff Evolution beschrieben werden kann.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen