New Keynesian economics

school of macroeconomics focusing on microeconomic foundations for Keynesian economics; assumes that households/firms have rational expectations but states that market failures (e.g. imperfect competition in prices/wages) cause Keynesian phenomena

New Keynesian economics is a school of contemporary macroeconomics that strives to provide microeconomic foundations for Keynesian economics. It developed partly as a response to criticisms of Keynesian macroeconomics by adherents of New Classical macroeconomics.


  • Macroeconomics has been in an unsettled state since the early 1970s. The Keynesian model, which was almost universally accepted as the basic paradigm until the late 1960s, is regarded by most economists as scientifically not quite respectable. Periodically, some group of economists tries to patch up the Keynesian framework—the most recent effort was by the new Keynesians in the 1980s—but the results have never really been successful.
  • The term new Keynesians denotes a loosely connected group of researchers who shared a common belief that the synthesis that emerged in response to the rational-expectations critique was basically correct. But they also shared the belief that much remained to be learned about the nature of imperfections in different markets and about the implications of those imperfections for macroeconomic fluctuations.
    • Olivier Blanchard, Macroeconomics (7th Edition, 2017), Ch. 16 : Expectations, Output, and Policy
  • Colander: What’s your view of the New Keynesian approach?
    Tobin: I’m not sure what that means. If it means people like Greg Mankiw, I don’t regard them as Keynesians. I don’t think they have involuntary unemployment or absence of market clearing. It is a misnomer to call Mankiw any form of Keynesian.
    Colander: How about real-business-cycle theorists?
    Tobin: Well, that’s just the enemy.
    • David Colander, "Conversations with James Tobin and Robert J. Shiller on the “Yale Tradition” in Macroeconomics", Macroeconomic Dynamics (1999), later published in Inside the economist’s mind: conversations with eminent economists (2007) edited by Paul A. Samuelson and William A. Barnett.
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