Fantastic and well-deserved news this morning with the Clark Medal being awarded to Emi Nakamura, who has recently moved from Columbia to Berkeley. Incredibly, Nakamura’s award is the first Clark to go to a macroeconomist in the 21st century. The Great Recession, the massive changes in global trade patterns, the rise of monetary areas like the Eurozone, the “savings glut” and its effect on interest rates, the change in openness to hot financial flows: it has been a wild twenty years for the macroeconomy in the two decades since Andrei Schleifer won the Clark. It’s hard to imagine what could be more important for an economist to understand than these patterns.
Something unusual has happened in macroeconomics over the past twenty years: it has become more like Industrial Organization! A brief history may be useful. The term macroeconomics is due to Ragnar Frisch, in his 1933 article on the
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