Conversations with Leading Economists


Conversations with Leading Economists

Interpreting Modern Macroeconomics

9781858989426 Edward Elgar Publishing
Brian Snowdon, Senior Teaching Fellow, Department of Economics and Finance, Durham University, UK and Howard R. Vane, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Publication Date: 1999 ISBN: 978 1 85898 942 6 Extent: 384 pp
This important book provides fascinating insights into the origins, development and current state of modern macroeconomics.

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This important book provides fascinating insights into the origins, development and current state of modern macroeconomics.

The reader’s imagination is instantly captured, and the subject matter brought alive, through conversations with fourteen leading economists including five Nobel Laureates. These interviews shed new light on the controversies witnessed in the field of macroeconomic theory and policy, the way macroeconomics is taught and the history and methodology of macroeconomic research. Their illuminating and contrasting discussions provide students and scholars alike with a unique, highly accessible and enjoyable way to explore the ever-changing landscape of modern macroeconomics.

The major economists featured in this book are:

Alberto Alesina
Olivier Blanchard
Mark Blaug
Robert W. Clower
David C. Colander
Milton Friedman
Robert E. Lucas, Jr.
Gregory Mankiw
Franco Modigliani
Edward N. Prescott
Paul C. Romer
Robert M. Solow
John B. Taylor
James Tobin
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . all the interviews are worth reading.’
– Economic Affairs

‘. . . these interviews, and the introduction of the editors, make for good reading and provide an interesting overview of the development of macroeconomics during the last decades.’
– Ivo Maes, Tijdschrift voor Economie en Management

‘The interviews are informative and a delight to read. This is not the first enterprise of this sort for Snowdon and Vane, and their experience shows. So does their knowledge of the macroeconomics literature. The questions were prepared with skill to prompt the subjects to reflect on their own work and the work of their contemporaries in light of macroeconomics before and after the peaks of their influence.’
– J. Daniel Hammond, Journal of the History of Economic Thought

‘These conversations are valuable on many levels. The more or less casual reader with a general sense for the issues and interest in the subject might read them for enjoyment. The student struggling to construct a coherent picture in time for exams will find them of tremendous value. And I suspect that many professional economists will learn a great deal about every area but their own and perhaps even something about that.’
– James Forder, The Business Economist

‘More than fifteen years after I tried to find out what macroeconomists were up to in my book Conversations with Economists I wanted to go back to these economists to hear from them what has happened since then. There is no need to do that anymore here is the update. I am surprised to find out how similar the thinking has remained in some ways but also how rapidly the field has been changing in other ways, how more technical economics has become and how the issue of growth has come to dominate the agenda. These conversations are chock full of information and interesting tidbits, and provide a surprising and insightful view of the current state in macroeconomics. They should be mandatory reading to all students of economics and on top of the reading list of anyone who is interested in what is going on in macroeconomics.’
– Arjo Klamer, Erasmus University, The Netherlands

‘This book looks behind the now prevalent and sanitised text book portrayals of macroeconomics and introduces the reader to the theoretical and ideological controversies which lie at the heart of the subject. A very clear introductory extended essay by the authors, which sets the scene is followed by a delightful, thought provoking and engaging set of conversations with some of the principal agenda setters of macroeconomic research. This book is for those who wish to gain a sense of excitement of the modern macroeconomic research agenda. It might even encourage them to read some economics.’
– Peter M. Jackson, University of Leicester, UK

‘This collection amounts to a great deal more than a series of entertaining conversations, though entertaining they certainly are. Snowdon and Vane provide their readers with a thoughtful introductory essay outlining the development of macroeconomics since the 1930s, and the themes that they deal with there occur and re-occur throughout their interviews, bringing considerable unity to the book as a whole. In Snowdon and Vane’s view, macroeconomics is a serious subject that deals with substantive questions of great social importance, and its progress depends on vigorous and open debate among competing points of view. Student readers, of whom there ought to be many, will get from this book a sense of the infectious excitement that marks such debate, and even the most jaded of their teachers will be reminded of why, when all is said and done, there is no subject more worthwhile than
– David Laidler, University of Western Ontario, Canada

‘Interviewing leading economists provides an effective way to comprehend the matrix in which their formal contributions arise. In providing these interviews Snowdon and Vane have performed a valuable service both for advanced students and professional economists.’
– Thomas Mayer, University of California, Davis, US
Contents: Preface 1. Interpreting Modern Macroeconomics: From Tobin to Romer 2. James Tobin 3. N. Gregory Mankiw 4. Milton Friedman 5. Robert E. Lucas Jr 6. Alberto Alesina 7. Robert W. Clower 8. John B. Taylor 9. David C. Colander 10. Olivier Blanchard 11. Franco Modigliani 12. Edward C. Prescott 13. Robert M. Solow 14. Paul M. Romer 15. Mark Blaug References Index
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