1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Macroeconomic Methodology

Edited By Jesper Jespersen, Victoria Chick, Bert Tieben Copyright 2023
    380 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The present macroeconomic crisis has demonstrated that a deeper understanding of the importance of relevant macroeconomic theories and methods is wanting. Additionally, lack of methodological awareness is behind much of the disagreement within macroeconomics which, looked upon from outside, often appears incomprehensible.

    The Handbook gives a structured presentation of the study of principles and procedures by which macroeconomics is researched, taught and communicated both within academia and to a wider audience, and why specific theories, research strategies and teaching are preferred. The principles of selecting theory relevant to real-world problems are the core of methodology. This book contains a broad range of arguments behind theory construction and appraisal and the consequences of these choices within the field of macroeconomics.

    An international range of experts provide clear analysis of key concepts, ideas and principles to give academics, students and others a better understanding of the macroeconomics behind policy conclusions which are put forward at different levels.

    Introduction: The scope and content of the Handbook I. Philosophy of Science Perspectives

    I. Philosophy of Science Perspectives

    I.1. Methodological Individualism and Macroeconomics - Andy Denis

    I.2. Deduction, Induction and Abduction  - Lars Syll

    I.3. Instrumentalism -  J. Daniel Hammond

    I.4 From positivism to naturalism in macroeconomics -  John Hart

    I.5. Holism & Fallacy of Composition - Victoria Chick & Jesper Jespersen

    I.6. Macroeconomics and Ethics  - Finn Olesen


    II. Concepts

    II.1 Time in Macroeconomics - Mogens Ove Madsen

    II.2 Uncertainty and Macroeconomic Methodology - Sheila Dow

    II.3 Path dependency - Mark Setterfield

    II.4 Equilibrium - Bert Tieben

    II.5 Causality and macroeconomics - Alessandro Vercelli

    II.6 Microeconomic foundation of macroeconomics - Nuno Ornelas Martins

    II.7 Open and closed systems - Victoria Chick

    II.8. Money and Macroeconomic Methodology - Claude Gnos


    III. Schools of Thought

    III.1. Classical Political Economy - Nuno Ornelas Martins

    III.2. Neoclassical Macroeconomics - Bert Tieben

    III.3. Keynes’s Macroeconomic Method - Victoria Chick & Jesper Jespersen

    III.4. Post Keynesian Methodology - John E. King

    III.5. The Austrian Denial of Macroeconomics - Scott Scheall

    III.6. What was Marx’s Method, actually? - Alan Freeman

    III.7. Methodological Pluralism in Macroeconomics - Ioana Negru & Alessandro Vercelli


    IV. Models, Econometrics and Measurement

    IV.1. Use of Mathematics in macroeconomic analysis - Lars W. Josephsen

    IV.2. Explanation and Forecasting - Marcel Boumans

    IV.3. Using macroeconomic models in policy practice - Frank den Butter

    IV.4. Traditional Methods of Macroeconometrics - Henning Bunzel

    IV.5. Macroeconometrics: Cointegrated VAR Method - Katarina Juselius

    IV.6. National Accounts and Macroeconomic Methodology - Geoff Tily


    V. Communicating Macroeconomics

    V.1. The rhetorical perspective on macroeconomics - Arjo Klamer

    V.2. Teaching Macroeconomic Methodology - Jan Holm Ingemann



    Jesper Jespersen is professor emeritus at Roskilde University, Denmark. His research interests include the economics of Keynes and macroeconomic methodology.

    Victoria Chick is professor emeritus at University College London, UK. She has written extensively on macroeconomics and the economics of Keynes.

    Bert Tieben is researcher at SEO Amsterdam Economics, the Netherlands. He also teaches history of economic thought at Amsterdam University College. His research focuses on economic methodology and the history of economic thought.

    “Within the bulk of the existing literature on economic methodology the distinctive methodological questions concerning the methodology of macroeconomics, despite their relevance, have been so far comparatively neglected. This comprehensive Handbook eventually fills the gap in a way that would be hard to beat. It deserves, therefore, to be warmly recommended to all readers with an interest in the methodology and philosophy of economics, in the history of economic thought and, last but not least, in macroeconomics per se.”

    Andrea Salanti, University of Bergamo

    “Due to the economic crises of recent years there is an increasing interest by students to look for answers outside the mainstream macroeconomic understanding. As such, students are not only looking for an alternative theoretical macroeconomic universe, they are also increasingly interested in methodological aspects of macroeconomic theory. With the publication of Routledge Handbook of Macroeconomic Methodology students with an interest in Macroeconomic Theory and the History of Economic Thought are offered an updated advanced book on a huge number of relevant methodological questions.”

    Finn Olesen, Aalborg University, Denmark