There Are Microfoundations, and There Are Microfoundations; They’re Not the Same

Uneasy Money

Microfoundations are latest big thing on the econoblogosphere. Krugman, Wren-Lewis (and again), Waldmann, Smith (all two of them!) have weighed in on the subject. So let me take a shot.

The idea of reformulating macroeconomics was all the rage when I studied economics as an undergraduate and graduate student at UCLA in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The UCLA department had largely taken shape in the 1950s and early 1960s around its central figure, Armen Alchian, undoubtedly the greatest pure microeconomist of the second half of the twentieth century in the sense of understanding and applying microeconomics to bring the entire range of economic, financial, legal and social phenomena under its purview, and co-author of the greatest economics textbook ever written. There was simply no problem that he could not attack, using the simple tools one learns in intermediate microeconomics, with a piece…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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