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Interpreting Macroeconomics: Explorations in the History of Macroeconomic Thought

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0415153607
ISBN-10: 0415153603
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Editorial Reviews


..."do "not let yourself miss this excellent book.... Backhouse's history is a piece in the puzzle that no one can afford to overlook. His local and contingent perspective is the best view that we have of the evolution of contemporary macroeconomics."
-"History of Political Economy
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Roger E. Backhouse is Professor of the History and Philosophy of Economics at the University of Birmingham, where he has taught since 1980, and at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 2007 he was Ludwig Lachmann Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the London School of Economics. He currently holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship. He is the co-editor (with Philippe Fontaine) of The History of the Social Sciences since 1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and The Unsocial Social Science? Economics and Neighboring Disciplines since 1945 (2010) and (with Bradley W. Bateman) of The Cambridge Companion to Keynes (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He is co-author (with Bradley W. Bateman) of Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes. He is author of The Puzzle of Modern Economics, The Ordinary Business of Life and The Penguin History of Economics. He has written for a number of journals including Economica, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, History of Political Economy, the Journal of the History of Economic Thought and the Journal of Economic Methodology. He has been review editor of the Economic Journal, editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology and associate editor of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (October 18, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415153603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415153607
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,486,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Backhouse has some interesting chapters in this book comparing and commenting on the works of Muth(the founder of the rational expectations approach based on the use of the normal probability distribution and related distributions),Leijonhufvud(one of the founders of the long run disequilibrium,neoWalrasian interpretation of Keynes),and Milton Friedman(monetarist economist whose empirical work is all based on the unsupported belief that the normal probability distribution(and its variates) can be applied universally as a correct model in macroeconomics).Backhouse is simply ignorant about the massive amount of data analysis done by Benoit Mandelbrot over the last fifty years demonstrating that the normal distribution is the wrong distribution to employ.His work has been replicated by many different researchers in many different countries.Keynes,in the 1939-40 exchange with Tinbergen over the logical foundations of econometrics,made the same,general theoretical argument as Mandelbrot,but without empirical support.Keynes argued that before the assumption of normality was made,Tinbergen needed to demonstrate the uniformity,homogeneity,and stability of the time series data before using the multiple correlation-regression approach.Keynes was ignored.The result has been 65 years of failed macroeconometric forecasts.Backhouse covers none of this.On pp.120-123,Backhouse repeats the standard economist claim that Keynes had no formal model in the GT.The formal model is in chapters 10,20,and 21.It is that w/p=mpl/(mpc+mpi),where w/p is the real wage,mpl is the marginal product of labor derived from a neoclassical aggregate production function,mpc is the marginal propensity to consume,and mpi is the marginal propensity to spend on investment goods.Read more ›
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