Economics perspectives from the confluence of the Mississippi & Missouri

Welcome to Muddy Water Macro! This site presents our view about how macroeconomic theory and evidence can be reconciled to understand the world in which we live. In our judgment, a broad Keynesian approach best meets this objective, but we take seriously the objections of those who criticize Keynesian thinking. We aim for a balanced and accessible exposition of alternative perspectives.

User’s Guide

The pages on this site present macroeconomic ideas in a conceptual, non-technical way that we hope is accessible to all users. We strive to exploit the advantages of the open-access web structure by creating a site that will allow readers to move through our content in the way that most closely reflects their needs.  The ability to tailor one’s reading to particular interests easily by choosing the most relevant pages to visit is an advantage of our web structure compared to a traditional textbook.

Though the format allows the reader a great deal of freedom, it could lead to redundancy if basic ideas were repeated in the discussion of each topic. To mitigate this problem, most of our pages assume that the reader has an understanding of the basic “MWM” macroeconomic perspective that provides the foundation for the analysis presented here.  You can build this knowledge quickly (10 to 15 minutes) by reading two short pages, Keynesian Basics and The MWM Perspective on Macroeconomics.  We strongly encourage our readers to start here.  Even people with extensive knowledge of macro theory may find some original insights from a quick skim of these basics.

Along the way, some results that are simply asserted on the basics pages are developed in a variety of ways.  Callout boxes that expand on details or provide supporting evidence.  We also direct readers to a variety of pages linked to the more basic exposition of the main topics that enrich the analysis.  The economic content of some of these links gets a bit more advanced in some cases.

After digesting the basic material, you are ready to branch out to our other topics.  Note that this site remains very much a work in progress.  The content available now is just a sample of what we plan to develop through 2012 (the remaining term of the grant from the Institute for New Economic Thinking that provides the primary funding for this project).  In this first release, we have developed a set of pages on fiscal policy in addition to the set of pages that explain our basic perspective.  Over the next several months, we will roll out new material that interprets the causes of the global “Great Recession” and explores various ideas about inflation and unemployment.

Learn a bit about the origins, objectives, and people behind this site

We hope that you find this material helpful in sorting through modern economic discussion.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions to help us better serve your needs.