how do we know?

  • econometrics
    • but … infinite number of curves go through data points, and going to multiple regression doesn’t help
    • so need theory
  • macro specific issues
    • data limited
    • data multidimensional
  • yet more important than any micro-level policy decision. bad macro policy can disrupt the lives of millions of households, with a minor mistake.
    • if indeed global economy – and certainly looks that way
    • bad macro policy can affect hundreds of millions.


  • explore modern macro. from time to time will focus on one core issue, size of “the” (fiscal) multiplier
  • but also capstone
    • major project
    • will brainstorm on Fri, you need to have first proposal on Monday.


  • current US macro performance
    • π, g, U are 3 big topics
    • lots of subsidiary ones: median income, intl stability
  • BLS → employment [rather than unemployment]
    • current performance anomalous
    • correcting for baby boomer retirement makes the picture less grim
    • correcting for involuntary short hours makes picture worse
  • what other questions should / could we ask?
projection trend