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Modern Macroeconomics: It's Origins, Development and Current State Paperback – 24 Feb 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (24 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845422082
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845422080
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 352,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"'Brian Snowdon and Howard Vane are well-known for their astute understanding of the main macroeconomic schools of thought and their skilled use of interviews with major figures. Here, they deploy a depth of scholarship in explaining the different schools and their key points of departure from one another. This book will be particularly useful to students looking for a clear, non-technical explanation of the main approaches to macroeconomics.' - Patrick Minford, Cardiff University, UK 'There are two steps to learning macroeconomics. First, to see it as it is today. Second, to understand how it got there: to understand the right and the wrong turns, the hypotheses that proved false, the insights that proved true, and the interaction of events and ideas. Only then, does one truly understand macroeconomics. This book is about step two. It does a marvellous job of it. The presentation is transparent, the interviews fascinating. You will enjoy, and you will learn.' - Olivier Blanchard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US 'In 40 years of teaching macroeconomics, there has been just one textbook that I have assigned year after year after year, namely, A Modern Guide to Macroeconomics by Snowdon, Vane and Wynarczyk. That altogether admirable book made clear to students what were, and are, the main intellectual issues in macroeconomics and did so with just enough formal modeling to avoid distortion by over-simplification. That book is now ten years old and the debate in macro has moved on. So there is good reason to welcome Snowdon and Vane back with this superb updated version.' - Axel Leijonhufvud, University of Trento, Italy 'This outstanding book avoids the narrow scope of most textbooks and provides an excellent guide to an unusually broad range of ideas.' - Thomas Mayer, University of California, Davis, US"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Ozlen Hic Birol on 3 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
thank you...
it gives all the aspects of all the modern systems and schools, starting from early Classical System and Keynesian System up until today's macroeconomic schools...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a staple! thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
a must read for every budding macroeconomist 9 April 2006
By Majid Al-Sadoon - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book surveys all of the major intellectual trends within macroeconomics since Keynes. The writing is clear, which is atypical for most economics books, and the discussion is rich with lore and plenty of references (the bibliography is over 80 pages!) It really filled many gaps in my understanding of macro. I recommend this book for graduate macro students and advanced undergraduates; others might find it hard to appreciate the models and the ideas if they don't have a good understanding of at least intermediate macro. Last but not least, the interviews are truly inspirational; I found myself hurrying through the chapters to get to the interviews as quickly as possible!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great Macroeconomic Overview 8 Feb 2007
By Qualified opinion - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a nice overview of the main macro theories with a non-mathematical slant. But do not take it for a macro "overview for dummies". To fully appreciate the subtle nuances between competing views, one must have a firm grasp of macroeconomics.

Also, the interviews are really enjoyable and enlightening.

As a suggestion for next editions, i would like to read an interview with michael woodford, and a full chapter on the "new neoclassical synthesis".
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Macroeconomics: History, Evolution, Perspectives 4 Jan 2012
By Daniel Nobre - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great summary of the evolution of macroeconomic thought since Keynes, as well as a good explantion of their fundamentals and issues.

All major schools are impartially approached in a textbook fasion, followed by well-conducted interviews with leading economists of each school, such as Tobin (orthodox keynesians), Friedman (monetarists), Lucas (new classicals), Prescott (RBC), just to mention a few. Some schools out of the mainstream are also approached, with lower bright though (austrians and post-keynesians).

The book is a great companion for intermediate undergrads: in addition to provide a historical perspective, it equips readers of intermedate popular textbooks to shed different lights on issues and models presented as 'official truths' - such books rarely leave room for alternative approaches, debates, or criticisms between schools (Froyen's is a great exception, along with Mankiw to a minor extent).

The only flaw is the shallow coverage of schools not-aligned with mainstram, such as those aforementioned ones, or full omission of some (such as evolutionary / neo-schumpeterian and other hetherodoxes). PKs and Austrians deserved shorter texts, though presented by iminent shcholars from those schools, but had no interview - therefore restricting a better comprehension, as such 'live talks' with prominent authorities of each is what 'gives soul' to their claims (it works like a diligent defense of their approaches, persuasively enriching the reading, as they explain, criticize, support, compare, etc).

In sum, a book like no other in account for the richness of macroeconomic thought, to be extended for alternative approaches - if split in two volumes as it will become almost encyclopedical, the expense of further costs will certainly pay off the broader and eccletic coverage to be provided.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Gets the message across, but not in a very entertaining way 26 April 2012
By Jackal - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book give a good overview of macroeconomic schools from 1935 to 2000. The book requires you to be familiar with a standard undergraduate textbook in macroeconomics. The book is long, but it kind of helps to get the message across. I have no major problem with the content.

There are several books on macroeconomics (especially after the crisis) that have a very biased presentation while pretending to present something objective. The bias can occur in the selection of material as well as off handed comments about economists the authors do not like. Fortunately, this book does not suffer from this weakness. So this is very positive.

Having said this the book could be much improved. The authors have a too reverent way of describing most schools. Probably not to irritate any current macroeconomist that might put the book on his syllabus. I would have liked a bit more spirited description (without introducing any bias). The book was written before the financial crisis and the style might reflect the greater amount of consensus in 2003 compared to 2012. The book seems to argue that there is continual progress in the field because later economists build on the work of older economists. Seeing the disarray in 2012 I am no so sure about such a description of reality. I don't think the authors are familiar with Kuhnian paradigms, but then how many economists read outside economics?

I give the book four stars, but it certainly is not well written. Maybe I should just give it three stars because it is such a specialised book. Still, since it is the best book on the historical (and still very relevant) development of the field, I am happy to give the book four stars. If the authors read this review: You write in an inelegant way and lack humour. Please put in some dry jokes and some anecdotes for the third edition.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
an interesting book - highly useful too! 16 Oct 2009
By Praveen Kishore - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is undoubtedly the best book for an advanced introduction to Macroeconomics at graduate level, before one takes up more technical macro/growth theory books like Romer, Obsfield or Barro etc. It approaches the subject 'macro school' wise, ie by taking a historical and chronological methodology which makes the subject much more interesting, providing a clear conceptual background of the development of macroeconomics as a separate field in past 70-80 years. Starting from Keynes, it discusses all the major development, concepts, theory, models and their interrelationships in macroeconomics today including the recent spurt in growth theory analysis.
It is a must read not only for any budding economists but also for well informed general readers interested in economics as a whole.
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