Tim Harford – someone I personally believe is one of the best economists of our time – has come out stating that modern macroeconomics is a failure. (ht Economist’s View – note that commentary in this post is very good, I agree with much of what Mark Thoma is saying except for the belief that the economic model is different between now and “normal” times. His point on the lack of data to calibrate is very very true).
Now, Tim Harford is one in a list of very smart, non-macro economists who are attacking macroeconomics. I don’t agree – as I’ve discussed here.
My main concern now is not so much that these incredibly smart people are attacking the discipline – a discipline does its best work when it is being critiqued. My main concern is the lack of counter-arguments I am seeing from real macroeconomists. Where are they? Where is their defence? I have stated why I think contemporary macro is defendable – but I’m no macroeconomics professor from Harvard.
Until macroeconomists can define the role and scope of their research, and justify their methodology in a way that other disciplines can relate to we are just going to be stuck with arbitrary criticism. As a result, I think the lack of explicit discussion surrounding methodology is the real issue in macroeconomics …