Impulses and Propagation Mechanisms in Equilibrium Business Cycles Theories: From Interwar Debates to DSGE "Consensus"
Muriel Dal-Pont Legrand and
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Muriel Dal-Pont Legrand: Université Côte d'Azur, France
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Muriel DAL PONT LEGRAND ()
No 2019-01, GREDEG Working Papers from Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
It is tempting to understand the DSGE (Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium) approach as a refinement of earlier contributions, namely Slutsky (1927) and Frisch (1933), and to a lesser extent Hayek, Hicks, and Lutz. By analyzing the debates in these periods, we try to show that the modern tools from which our theories benefit, far from being neutral, have deeply changed the nature of business cycles theories. We identify the reduced role of propagation mechanisms in DSGE models and their consequences for current debates. The overemphasis on the capacity of models to mimic cyclical fluctuations on the one side, and the clear incapacity of these models to explain (even to mimic) large scale crises on the other, are distinct but convergent elements which reveal a deep change in the relationship between the empirical findings (data, stylized facts) and the theory. These elements are deserving more attention from historians of economic thought.
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