Here's Krugman's assessment of the state of modern macro:
...my sense is that a lot of younger economists are aware, even if they don’t dare say so, that freshwater macro has been a great embarrassment these past four years, and that liquidity-trap Keynesianism has done very well. This will affect future research; it will, over time, break the stranglehold of decadent Lucasian doctrine on the journals.How would Krugman have a "sense" for what younger economists are thinking? He has little interaction with them. He does not go to conferences with them; he doesn't read their papers; he spends little time at Princeton. Mostly, he lives in Manhattan and writes a blog. The finger is far from the pulse, I'm afraid.
What is "liquidity-trap Keynesianism?" In case you have not figured that out, it's Hicksian IS/LM. That's been "successful?" How could it be? It's not structural.
What is "decadent Lucasian doctrine," and why the heck is it so decadent? Good questions. You'll have to grill Krugman on that. As far as I can tell, we are all "Lucasians" now, and that includes Krugman, who uses many "Lucasian" principles. Complaining about Lucas is something like complaining about the other Bob - Bob Dylan. The revolution happened long ago, and now everyone loves Bob and his influences are everywhere. Krugman might like it if the Bob "stranglehold" somehow let go of the profession. Too bad, Krugman, that's not happening.
Here are the last two paragraphs of Krugman's post:
And the giggles and whispers thing — in which anything resembling non-microfounded Keynesian analysis was the subject of automatic ridicule — is already, I think, over. Look at Delong/Summers on fiscal policy: the analytical core is, yes, the IS-LM model.I don't think this is about giggles and whispers any more. We're all guffawing out loud, I'm afraid. I looked at the the DeLong/Summers paper, and you really should not waste time on that piece of trash. The analytical core is, yes, an IS-LM model. Yikes. Again, there are many reasons why we don't want to go there any more, including the ones I articulated here, and here.
In a better world, Brad and I and our fellow-travelers would have achieved an immediate transformation of both policy and doctrine. We don’t live in that world. But I think we are winning the argument, in ways that will make a difference.
In the better world I'm thinking about, we would not have to put up with arrogant loud-mouths like Paul, Brad, and their "fellow-travelers." The world these people envision is one where lazy macroeconomics has free-rein. We would forget everything we have learned in the last 40 years or so. Better still, we could set the way-back machine to 1937. Why fuss with all those bothersome details? IS-LM is so easy - and so right. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.