Rebuilding macroeconomics

Spending today and tomorrow attending the Rebuilding Macroeconomics conference at the Treasury.

The programme looks very interesting - highlights include:

  • Ekaterina Svetlova's opening talk on "Imagining the Future", which I think will be quite relevant to System 3 and an idea I have been working on, prospective expectations: the concept that actors based their decisions not on a Nash equilibrium (rational expectations) or on a simple extrapolation of the past (adaptive expectations), but on the future they are best able to imagine.
  • Sam Johnson on "The cognitive and affective processes that give rise to emergent economic order", which sounds right up my street.
  • David Laibson on "Using model free data to predict future outcomes" - more in this case for the speaker than the topic.
  • "Markets as a function of language: microfoundations of narrative economics" by Douglas Holmes - a topic that has been studied both by Robert Shiller and by Tuckett and Nikolic, and again links to System 3 if we conceive of narratives as being built in the causal graph of System 3.

At the end of the week I am heading to New York for the INET YSI's conference on endogenous preferences, at which Sam Bowles (author of The Moral Economy and Santa Fe researcher on complexity) will be speaking. At least two of today's talks (Webb Keane on the moral economy and Sam Johnson's) should connect to that.

Behavioural macroeconomics has been punted around as a topic almost since I started this blog, but hasn't really taken off as a fully developed topic with formal models (an exception is the work of Roger Farmer, one of the organisers of today's event). This conference, part of the Rebuilding Macroeconomics project at NIESR, might be a sign that that is changing. I will report back.


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