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Macroeconomics: Imperfections, Institutions, and Policies Paperback – 15 Dec 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 856 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (15 Dec. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198776225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198776222
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 3.8 x 18.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 232,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"When teaching intermediate macroeconomics in Harvard, I deeply felt that existing textbooks were all lacking: 1) proper microeconomic foundations linking important notions such as the Keynesian consumption function, the investment accelerator, the Phillips curve, the possibility of persistent (involuntary) unemployment, to precise sources of imperfections in the product, labor, or financial markets; 2) a suitable treatment of growth theory that can shed light on observed convergence and divergence patterns across countries and also on how growth policies should be designed in various countries at different stages of development. Being the first comprehensive attempt at filling these gaps, the Carlin-Soskice textbook should be used by any instructor who wants to bring her students to the frontier of modern macroeconomics while at the same time remaining fully accessible to a broad undergraduate audience." Philippe Aghion, Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University

"At last, an advanced undergraduate book which maps theory to facts. The theory, from the new Keynesian model of fluctuations to Schumpeterian models of growth, is sound. The applications, from European unemployment to the Japanese slump, highly revealing. You will enjoy every chapter, and become a good macroeconomist in the process. Olivier Blanchard, Class of 1941 Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology"

"The best way to learn economics is to have a textbook which develops a theoretical framework interactively with practical questions. Macroeconomics: Imperfections, Institutions and Policies does just this. The book is based on the mainstream monetary macro model which is now widely used by both academics and policy-makers. In a straightforward manner, it shows how this model can be used to address an enormous variety of practical questions without heavy use of mathematical technique." Stephen Nickell, School Professor of Economics, LSE; Member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England

"Imperfect competition, knowledge-based growth, inflation-targeting central banks and many other central features of modern economic systems have recently been integrated into the heart of macroeconomic theory. Carlin and Soskice do the profession a great service by writing a textbook that makes these developments accessible to undergraduates. The book presents macroeconomics at its best - as a useful framework for analyzing important questions." Peter Howitt, Lyn Crost Professor of Social Sciences, Brown University

"What makes Carlin and Soskice invaluable is both their clarity and their commitment to helping the reader understand the intuitions that lie behind the models. Furthermore, there is constantly an attempt to make the work relevant to practical questions of public policy. They tackle the impact of German Reunification, EMU, British economic performance, the 1990s US boom, and the long-standing Japanese recession. There is a major final chapter addressing the issues of unemployment, especially among the larger nations of Continental Europe. The authors approach these questions through the penetrating analytical lens of their framework, critically address the empirical evidence and come up with sometimes novel conclusions to the conventional wisdom." ProfessorJohn Van Reenen Director, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics

" If, like me, you've been waiting a long time for the successor to Macroeconomics and the Wage Bargain, you will not be disappointed."

"Macroeconomics needs to be exciting and contemporary. Too often it becomes an area of difficulty and confusion for students. This book is to be welcomed for its very clear vision of what contemporary macroeconomics is about and its careful exposition leading the student to this." Dr Mary Gregory, Oxford University

About the Author

Wendy Carlin is Professor of Economics at University College London and is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. She is managing editor of the Economics of Transition and has published widely on macroeconomics, institutions, and transition. David Soskice is Research Professor at Duke University and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin. He is Centennial Professor in the European Institute at the London School of Economics. He is Emeritus Fellow in Economics at University College, Oxford and has held visiting positions at the Australian National University and the universities of Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Bologna, Cornell, Pisa, Trento and Yale. He has published widely in economics, industrial relations, and political science.


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Format: Paperback
There's no doubting that this is a thorough text excellently written, covering all the main points. The only problem with it is is it's New Keynesian bias. For example, it fleetingly dismisses the Sargent and Wallace Policy ineffectiveness Proposition without really explaining why one might do so, and subsequently does not explore Fisher's critique. Definitely a must for anyone with an interest in macroeconomics, but this should be one of a "portfolio" of texts on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
This is the clearest Macroeconomics book you will find. I have been studying it from drafts (as have four or five year groups previous to me it seems) for my Macroeconomics course; better than Blanchard, Mankiw, and all the rest, you will enjoy this book. The theory follows with no gaps- it is logical, yet models the real world in a way that is very satisfying compared to previous approaches. The 'assumptions' are not quite so hidden and not quite so ridiculous and previous economic theory, and little is left unexplained. It is particularly satisfying the wy they walk you through the construction of each model, all with micro-economic foundations which explicitly set out the assumptions about behaviour which drive the larger model.
It will become the classic statement of New Keynesianism, the new academic tradition in economics, which emphasises wage rigidity in the conduct of inflation-busting and monetary policy.
If you have been using the IS-LM model beware; this book signals its replacement with the 3 equation model IS-PC-MR combining changes in inflation with a reaction function for monetary policy. This book will become a standard text across universities from Oxford (where I'm studying) to LSE, Harvard and beyond. Buy it.
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I bought this book in order to move on from the historically more dominant IS-LM analsis which dominated my time at University.

Overall, the book is very comprehensive and has stretch elements which are useful. It does suffer from being too comprehensive with several obscure proofs that can be skipped as unnecessary. Some of the more obscure bits would be better in Appendix sections so that the reader can get through the core quicker.

I particularly liked the New Keynesian Micro foundations section (it is a bit tricky), but I wanted to argue with at least some of its bolder assumptions. The sections on growth are good, but my, they are over notated! Much of the nitpicky growth proofs are not necessary either.

The text style is somewhat heavy going/clunky - it was not, to be honest, an easy read and is probably over verbose in places and is certainly over notated. To be honest I had to keep refreshing myself as to the definitions of certain symbols etc. as I read through sections, which is not good. Readability is my main criticism of this book.

As several other reviewers have noted, the authors do not challenge the New Keynesian synthesis, and that is sort of a drawback. It also has very little analysis on target setting and the dangers associated with targeting policy on an ill defined/determined metric such as Full Employment GDP. In reality, this is not a known term, and the various transition mechanisms discussed did not really get into that - it just assumed the policy maker had magically picked the right target amounts - which is never the case.

Well worth reading, but not as an introductory work - I would still do intermediate IS-LM as a first step, and then augment with this 3 equation approach.

NB a newer version is out and therefore more current in terms of discussion topics and examples - I would go for that if you have the choice!
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Format: Paperback
Just thought I'd add my thoughts... It's an excellent book. It's thorough (without being too complex); it's clear and relatively concise (while covering more than just the essentials) and to top it off, it makes good use of excellent references to other works and articles. Highly recommended - whether or not it's on your reading list. If only all economics books were this good!!!
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Format: Paperback
Great book. A thorough explanation of the IS-PC-MR model where the authors show how the Monetary Rule of modern central banks is derived and used. The book covers all the other macroeconomic ideas but eschews the famous IS-LM model. This is quite a demanding text so if you're looking for a gentle introduction to macroeconomics this isn't it. I got lost at the New Keynesian section (too advanced) but the (rest of) the book is really well-written although sometimes gets into obscure proofs that can detract from the flow of reading. On the other hand that may be just what you need for that MSc!
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Arrived well on time, and also in good condition as specified at a reasonable price. Very much fit for purpose.
Very much needed textbook along side my studies when learning Advanced Macroeconomics
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By ug on 11 Mar. 2014
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very nice book, though with a little flaw. the book is well packed and delivery is fast. so in general satisfied with this shopping.
the book itself is very nice - recommend this book to all undergraduate economics students.
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By YUE REN on 12 Nov. 2013
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This book helps me a lot on my study. And it is much cheaper here than in the school's bookstore!
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