Crushed Retirements

The retirement-funding vehicle, 401(k), may be the most recognizable name-in-numbers in the country. In a transition that began in the 1980s, defined-contribution, self-managed 401(k)’s replaced (outside of government employment) defined-benefit, employer-managed plans. Among workers who participate in firm-sponsored retirement plans, … 
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Meta-Externalities: Pigou and Coase

 

This post takes an admittedly wonkish look at the nature and consequences of externalities in coherent general equilibrium macroeconomics. My particular interest here is meta-externalities, the under-appreciated macro application of the textbook literature long associated with the pioneering work of … 
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Ronald Coase

 

Ronald Coase, a 20th-century economic theorist, is the intellectual Godfather of generalized-exchange macroeconomics. The opening passage of his 1981 Nobel Lecture could be used to introduce the GEM Project: “My contribution to economics has been to urge the inclusion in … 
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Black-Box Firms

 

 The GEM Project generalizes rational exchange from the marketplace to highly specialized workplaces that are restricted by costly asymmetric employer-employee information. Economists know that in such circumstances markets cannot efficiently price labor. That is why large complex establishments price labor … 
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Ultimatum Game

A small set of core innovations support the generalized-exchange theory. Perhaps the most critical is the axiomatic employee proactive preference for fair treatment by management. That employers have long ago accepted that fact about their employees is broadly indicated in … 
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Market Myopia

Why doesn’t the modern macro consensus organized around the market-centric, general-equilibrium model class simply self-destruct? Doesn’t the embarrassment of having to having to push aside the most critical business-cycle facts, especially after experiencing a huge dose of involuntary job loss … 
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Robert Lucas: Figuring It Out

Robert Lucas was a towering figure in the anti-Keynesian revolution that eventually installed market-centric general-equilibrium as the mainstream macro model class. He insisted that acceptable models be rooted in rational behavior. In particular, he forcefully argued that inconsistent foundations for … 
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Collapse of Political Will

This post takes a break in the GEM Blog’s mission to explicate generalized-exchange modeling, substituting a policy update. With the constant political turmoil in Washington, some really important recent news got lost. The Congressional Budget Office released projections indicating that … 
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More on Woodford

 

This post continues last week’s look at Michael Woodford’s macroeconomics, largely because I just re-read his far-ranging interview with Douglas Clement in The Region (September 2014). A couple points came quickly to mind. First, Woodford’s attention to the most fundamental … 
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Woodford’s Really Bad Advice

This post looks at some monetary-policy advice from Michael Woodford, an acknowledged leader of mainstream New Keynesian macroeconomics. His leadership role demands attention. The advice is featured in the first chapter of Woodford’s 2003 New Keynesian bible (Interest and Prices); … 
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