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More than a decade after the publication of the critically acclaimed A Modern Guide to Macroeconomics, Brian Snowdon and Howard Vane have produced a worthy successor in the form of Modern Macroeconomics. Thoroughly extended, revised and updated, it will become the indispensable text for students and teachers of macroeconomics in the new millennium. The authors skilfully trace the origins, development and current state of modern macroeconomics from an historical perspective. They do so by thoroughly appraising the central tenets underlying the main competing schools of macroeconomic thought as well as their diverse policy implications. To reflect the important developments which have occurred in macroeconomics over the final decades of the twentieth century, they also survey the burgeoning literature on the `new political macroeconomics’ and `economic growth’. The book includes insightful chapters on the Post Keynesian and Austrian schools by Paul Davidson and Roger Garrison, and is enlivened by interviews with leading economists such as Robert Skidelsky, James Tobin, Milton Friedman, Robert Lucas Jr, Edward Prescott, Gregory Mankiw, Alberto Alesina, Robert Solow and Paul Romer. The volume also contains an extensive bibliography of over 1,300 publications which highlights the key titles recommended for further student reading. Erudite, accessible and lucidly written, this book is both a stimulating introduction and excellent guide to the controversies and diversity of modern macroeconomic debates. It will prove invaluable for students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses who want to understand as well as simply learn about macroeconomics. It is also a book that many teachers and lecturers will want on their shelves.
All major schools are impartially approached in a textbook fasion, followed by well-conducted interviews with leading economists of each school, such as Tobin (orthodox keynesians), Friedman (monetarists), Lucas (new classicals), Prescott (RBC), just to mention a few. Some schools out of the mainstream are also approached, with lower bright though (austrians and post-keynesians).
The book is a great companion for intermediate undergrads: in addition to provide a historical perspective, it equips readers of intermedate popular textbooks to shed different lights on issues and models presented as ‘official truths’ – such books rarely leave room for alternative approaches, debates, or criticisms between schools (Froyen’s is a great exception, along with Mankiw to a minor extent).
The only flaw is the shallow coverage of schools not-aligned with mainstram, such as those aforementioned ones, or full omission of some (such as evolutionary / neo-schumpeterian and other hetherodoxes). PKs and Austrians deserved shorter texts, though presented by iminent shcholars from those schools, but had no interview – therefore restricting a better comprehension, as such ‘live talks’ with prominent authorities of each is what ‘gives soul’ to their claims (it works like a diligent defense of their approaches, persuasively enriching the reading, as they explain, criticize, support, compare, etc).
In sum, a book like no other in account for the richness of macroeconomic thought, to be extended for alternative approaches – if split in two volumes as it will become almost encyclopedical, the expense of further costs will certainly pay off the broader and eccletic coverage to be provided.”Amazon Reader
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