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Cordon of Conformity: Why DSGE Models Are Not the Future of Macroeconomics

Servaas Storm

International Journal of Political Economy, 2021, vol. 50, issue 2, 77-98

Abstract: The Rebuilding Macroeconomic Theory Project, led by David Vines and Samuel Wills (2020), is an important, albeit long overdue, initiative to rethink a failing mainstream macroeconomics. Professors Vines and Wills, who must be congratulated for stepping up to the challenge of trying to make mainstream macroeconomics relevant again, call for a new multiple-equilibrium and diverse (MEADE) paradigm for macroeconomics. Their idea is to start with simple models, ideally two-dimensional sketches, that explain mechanisms that can cause multiple equilibria. These mechanisms should then be incorporated into larger DSGE models in a new, multiple-equilibrium synthesis – to see how the fundamental pieces of the economy fit together, subject to it being “properly micro-founded”. This paper argues that the MEADE paradigm is bound to fail, because it maintains the DSGE model as the unifying framework at the center of macroeconomic analysis. The paper reviews 10 fundamental weaknesses inherent in DSGE models which make these models irreparably useless for macroeconomic policy analysis. Mainstream macroeconomics must put DSGE models, once and for all, in the Museum of Implausible Economic Models – and learn important lessons from non-DSGE macroeconomic approaches.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/08911916.2021.1929582

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