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Foundations of International Macroeconomics (MIT Press)

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262150477
ISBN-10: 0262150476
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is no real precedent for this original book. The authors have taken a field in which there are often quite different models authors have taken a field in which there are often quite different models that sometimes yield quite disparate results, and have provided a unifying framework for examining the issues. An aspect that I find especially appealing is that the text does not assume much background on the part of students."

(Karen Lewis, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

"Since the 1970's, volatile fluctuations in exchange rates, unprecedented trade balance deficits, problems with sovereign debt, and the continued inegration of the world's goods and capital markets have thrust international macroeconomic issues into the spotlight. Ostfeld and Rogoff provide a framework for understanding these issues that is firmly grounded in economic theory and rich in its empirical insights and predictions. Their book will no doubt be the most widely used text for graduate education during the next decade."

(Robert J. Hodrick, Nomura Professor of International Finance, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University)

"I predict that Foundations of International Macroeconomics will become the most authoritative textbook in the field. Currently I teach a graduate course in international finance at Harvard, and I have not found any text suitable for the course. This book offers basically all I need, and more. I would definitely adopt it not only for a graduate course in international macroeconomics, but for any graduate course in macroeconomics. It is no conincidence that this text is so superb. It has been written by two 'virtuosos' in the field."

(Aaron Tornell, Assistant Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

"Maury Obstfeld and Ken rogoff are among the very best international macroeconomists working today. They are the perfect people to write the book we badly need -- a comprehensive, lucid treatment of the field that is neither sloppy nor doctrinaire, equipping its readers to understand both the broad areas of agreement among researchers and their important disputes. This book is ideal as a textbook, but it will also be must reading for everyone in the field, no matter how senior. The chapters on sticky-price models, in particular, will I predict revolutionize the terms of the debate. A great achievement."

(Paul Krugman, Ford International Professor of Economics, MIT, and author of The Age of Diminished Expectations)

"Obstfeld and Rogoff's very fine book confirms their high position as creators and practioners of dynamic international macroeconomics. The book has range, depth, and accessibility. It mixes theory and evidence in admirable proportions."

(Tom Sargent, David Rockefeller, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution)

"A magnificent synthesis of modern macroeconomic theory and international finance. Stunningly coherent, comprehensive and lively. A truly seminal work."

(Mark Gertler, Department of Economics, New York University)

"Obstfeld and Rogoff's new book is a comprehensive text on modern international macroeconomics, unprecedented in both scope and depth. It will certainly be indispensible for students and researchers in the field."

(Lars E.O. Svensson, Professor of International Economics, Stockholm University)

This amazingly comprehensive book provides a lucid explanation of modern macroeconomic theory and applies the theory to a wide range of international issues. For reference and classroom use, it sets a new standard in open economy macroeconomics. The use of boxes and applications in an advanced graduate text such as this is unorthodox, but extremely effective.

(John Campbell, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, Harvard University)

This is a landmark treatment of dynamic, open-economy macroeconomics -- the only kind of macroeconomics that matters any more.

(Paul Romer, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)

From the Back Cover

Foundations of International Macroeconomics is an innovative text that offers the first integrative modern treatment of the core issues in open economy macroeconomics and finance. With its clear and accessible style, it is suitable for first-year graduate macroeconomics courses as well as graduate courses in international macroeconomics and finance. Each chapter incorporates an extensive and eclectic array of empirical evidence. For the beginning student, these examples provide motivation and aid in understanding the practical value of the economic models developed. For advanced researchers, they highlight key insights and conundrums in the field. Topic covered includes intertemporal consumption and investment theory, government spending and budget deficits, finance theory and asset pricing, the implications of (and problems inherent in) international capital market integration, growth, inflation and seignorage, policy credibility, real and nominal exchange rate determination, and many interesting special topics such as speculative attacks, target exchange rate zones, and parallels between immigration and capital mobility. Most main results are derived for both the small country and world economy cases. The first seven chapters cover models of the real economy, while the final three chapters incorporate the economy's monetary side, including an innovative approach to bridging the usual chasm between real and monetary models.
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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 832 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262150476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262150477
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
International economics is not my field, even if I do find it interesting. As a graduate student, I liked this book a lot. It is not brilliantly written, and it is at times rather dull reading. BUT it a VERY clear and modern treatment of an important subject by two of the best scholars in the field. Overall, it's a very "user-friendly" graduate textbook. Not very entertaining, but it allows you to go through the material (much of it rather advanced) without too much pain, and without many leaps of faith (or pages of algebra) to go from one equation to the next. And there are many well developed applications which will help you see how the theory relates to the real world. There are many exercises to test your (or your students') knowledge of the field, whose solutions are also separately available.

Being this a graduate textbook, reading it requires a strong technical background, so if you are simply looking for a book to deepen your knowledge of a subject that you may only know through op-ed pieces, you should probably look elsewhere (e.g. undergraduate textbooks such as Krugman and Obstfeld). But if you are looking for an advanced but approachable and modern treatment of international macro, this book would be a very good bet. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Currently I'm using this book for my class called Trade and Economic Growth I II. The nuances of microeconomic foundations found in chapters 1 to 5 are used to explain and develop the concepts studied in open economy macroeconomics and international finance; so it is recommended that you understand fully the first three chapters of this book at least to understand the rest. The authors try to explain the concepts as clear as possible; however, you have to derive for yourself the equations that appear in the text, which is a challenge for most first year graduate students who are not yet proficient in using the tools of static/dynamic optimization, etc. A reference on mathematical economics such as Chiang's "Fundamental methods of math. econ.," and "Elements of dynamic optimization," or Simon Blume's "Mathematics for economists" should be kept near at hand. Nevertheless, there are many real-world examples that help clarify matters and make the this book more readable and interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
The authors recognized the problems with the way that the subject of open economy macroeconomics has been taught in graduate programs in the past. In particular, there was little agreement and no definitive text that tied together any unified theme. Eclectic reading lists, mainly from the 1960's and the 1970's, were provided on each subject area with major changes in analysis required to shift from one area to another. The counter argument from others in the field was that the modern literature lacked policy relevance. The authors' retort by claiming that the "classic approach" lacks internal consistency and the micro foundations required. Moreover, the older approach has been criticized for failing to deal with dynamics clearly and does not address many of the policy issues that are relevant today. With the exception of two chapters on money the text builds up from a single analytical framework to display several of the key results in international macroeconomics and growth. A rigorous approach based on the micro foundations of macroeconomics is used throughout the text. While this approach may be criticized for putting forward only a Neoclassical method, the authors have made an effort to include models of imperfections and some material based on Keynesian underpinnings. The text gives a current appreciation of the state of the literature in the field and as such is an excellent reference tool. The authors' vigilance in updating the material in the text via the web site is particularly appealing as it keeps it contemporary. For the targeted consumer: the graduate student (like myself) and certainly the academic, the level of sophistication is not prohibitive.
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Format: Hardcover
I can confirm what others have posted -- this is a very helpful introduction into International Macro. The authors make it easy to work from one equation to the next, but without actually giving you every step. They did a nice job with the questions at the end of each chapter, and on the whole created an invaluable academic resource. I heartily recommend it to any academic economist in macro or international, or who is interested in the subject.

The book does now need to be updated, and here would be some of my suggestions for how to do it:
1. The chapter on economic growth should actually be entitled models of economic growth. Or simply axed altogether -- although the profession is perhaps more to blame than the authors. Even so, they might have introduced the growth implications of new trade theory instead of the garbage in the chapter.
2. Along those lines, it might have been a good idea to swap growth for economic geography.
3. New Trade Theory needs a hearing... -- obviously recent Melitz-ish hetero agent macro models here would belong in a new volume. Along same lines, hysteresis is barely mentioned.
4. The point of the book is really to teach models to grad students -- and it does a wonderful job there. And the models often do have insight. I really liked the examples from economic history, the empirical applications, and the discussions -- so much so that I'd like to see even more. Which is to say, my desire is really to read a graduate textbook in which the authors try to simply teach the material, and just uses math as a tool, rather than focusing on the tools over the material. Still, the book does contain a lot of insight, so to ask for even more is to be greedy.
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