A macro nos dias de hoje

Na blogosfera internacional corre um debate muito interessante sobre a metodologia da macroeconomia. O nível está muito lá em cima, com contributos de Olivier Blanchard, Wolfgang Munchau, Simon Wren-Lewis, Paul Krugman, David Andolfatto, Tony Yates e Noah Smith. O Brugel fez um apanhado aqui. As citações de baixo são de Noah Smith, mas leiam tudo (ou pelo menos os textos de Smith e Andolfatto), porque vale a pena.

Personally I think DSGE techniques haven’t  reaped dramatic benefits (yet). But what other alternative is better? When I ask angry “heterodox” people “what better alternative models are there?”, they usually either mention some models but fail to provide links and then quickly change the subject, or they link me to reports that are basically just chartblogging. Yeah, sure, if you put out hand-wavey reports saying “capitalism sux, there’s gonna be a crash!” every year or two, you’re eventually going to be able to say “see, I told you so”. But that’s no replacement for real modeling.

E Olivier Blanchard, no Vox: Rethinking macroeconomic policy:

Fiscal stimulus can help. Public debt can increase very quickly when the economy tanks, but even more so when contingent – explicit or implicit – liabilities become actual liabilities. The effects of fiscal consolidation have led to a flurry of research on multipliers, on whether and when the direct effects of fiscal consolidation can be partly offset by confidence effects, through decreasing worries about debt sustainability.

Admittedly, navigation by sight may be fine for the time being. The issue of what debt ratio to aim for in the long run is not of the essence when there is a large consensus that it is too large today and the adjustment will be slow in any case – although, even here, Brad DeLong has provocatively argued that current debt ratios are perhaps too low. But how to assess what the right goal is for each country? This remains to be done. It has become clear that there is no magic debt-to-GDP number. Depending on the distribution of future growth rates and interest rates, on the extent of implicit and explicit contingent liabilities, one country’s high debt may well be sustainable, while another’s low debt may not.


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