The Growth Economics Blog

Hip-Hop History of Macro


NOTE: The Growth Economics Blog has moved sites. Click here to find this post at the new site.

Do you find yourself a little lost trying to keep up with the history of macro posts that Romer (here, here, here), DeLong (here, here), and others have been posting? What did Lucas do, or not do, to change macro? Was it that big of a change? What is this saltwater versus freshwater stuff?

I’m here to help. The history of macro closely parallels the history of hip-hop, even down to the importance of the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Let me help you keep track of what is going on.

I spent way too much time thinking about this during a long car drive. But once you start, it’s hard to stop. There are so many unanswered questions. Who are the Eric B. and Rakim of real business cycles? What is the academic equivalent of the Tupac/Biggie feud, and who is the Suge Knight of macroeconomists? Is Bob Hall like Michael Jackson (not the weird stuff, the massively talented stuff) relative to hip-hop?

I had to work hard to stop myself from trying to do this with other fields. But in case you were wondering, Paul Romer is Kurt Cobain and Aghion and Howitt are Pearl Jam. I may have also convinced myself that Acemoglu is Beyonce and Raj Chetty is Taylor Swift.