An Agenda without a Plan. Robert E. Lucas's trajectory through the public debate

Aurélien Goutsmedt, Danielle Guizzo, Francesco Sergi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores Robert E. Lucas's policy agenda and his engagement with the public debate between the 1970s and early 1980s. It investigates how he interacted with the public debate by envisioning key principles of his macroeconomic theory and methodology, and how he promoted his policy agenda. An exploration of Lucas's personal and professional archives sheds light on his participation in policy debates after the publication of his works, illustrating how Lucas built a discreet and cautious way of engaging with the public. Lucas did not propose a detailed program to implement his policy agenda, nor was he actively promoting his policy agenda. The article suggests that Lucas's originality compared to his contemporaries was his belief on the ability of macroeconomics to scientifically devise binding policy rules that could be integrated in an economic constitution.

Translated title of the contributionAn Agenda without a Plan. Robert E. Lucas's trajectory through the public debate
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)289-314
Number of pages26
JournalOEconomia
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The period between June 1969 and the end of 1971 was crucial. Lucas spent the summer at the NBER (1970) and received a fellowship from the Brookings Institution (1970-1971; RLP1, Folder 1969, Folder 1970 1/2). In June 1969, the Federal Reserve Board invited Lucas to write a paper about the “econometric testing of the natural rate hypothesis”, to be presented by November 1970 at a Fed conference about “The Econometrics of Price Determination” (Ibid.). This commissioned paper became “Econometric Testing of the Natural Rate Hypothesis” (Lucas, 1972a), further published in the proceedings of the conference (Eckstein, 1972). In the same period, Lucas completed his “Expectations and the Neutrality of Money” (1972b).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Association Oeconomia. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Fiscal policy
  • Lucas (Robert E.)
  • Lucas critique
  • Monetary policy
  • Policy rule
  • Tax policy

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