Monday, March 18, 2013

Micro vs. Macro

I sometimes have the impression that microeconomists smugly look down upon macroeconomists.    Microeconomics is scientific and empirical.   Macroeconomics is a mess of conflicting theories that apparently cannot be distinguished empirically.

But then...

What about the debate regarding the minimum wage?  

As soon as microeconomics becomes politically relevant and controversial, suddenly the basic model (supply and demand) is subject to dispute and the empirical evidence becomes doubtful.

Sadly, macroeconomics is constantly politically relevant and controversial.   Sound money?  Deficits and debt?   Size of government?    Cutting or raising tax rates?   Marginal and average taxes?

These issues are central to monetary and fiscal policy or their absence.   

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