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Backhouse Roger E. Interpreting Macroeconomics. Explorations in the History of Macroeconomic Thought

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Backhouse Roger E. Interpreting Macroeconomics. Explorations in the History of Macroeconomic Thought
Psychology Press, 1996. — 241 p.
Interpreting Macroeconomics explores the different ways in which the history of macroeconomic thought can be written. Three historiographical chapters criticise both relativism and constructivism, arguing instead for an eclectic, pluralistic approach. The remaining chapters demonstrate the advantages of this, by adopting a range of approaches to the history of macroeconomic thought.
The ideas of pre-Keynesian economists are analysed from the perspective of modern economic theory. The story of macroeconomics since Keynes is told in three ways: a history innocent of methodology; a methodological appraisal of Keynesian economics; and a Lakatosian rational reconstruction in which monetarism and Keynesianism are viewed as part of the same research programme. Rhetorical analysis is applied to the work of Milton Friedman, John Muth and Axel Leijonhufvud. The message of the book is that these very different perspectives all have something to contribute—that the history of economic thought has many dimensions, and that different methods are needed to uncover them all.
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