This handbook aims to provide a survey of the stet of knowledge in the broad area that includes the theories and facts of economic growth and economic fluctuations, as well as the consequences of monetary conditions. Macroeconomics underwent a evolution in the 70s and 80s due to the introduction of the methods of rational expectations, dynamic optimization, and general equilibrium analysis into macroeconomic models, to the development of new theories of economic fluctuations, and to the introduction of sophisticated methods for the analysis of economic time series. These developments were both important and exciting. However, the rapid change in methods and theories led to considerable-disagreement, especially in the 80s, as to whether there was any core of common beliefs, even about the defining problems of the subject, that united macroeconomists any longer. The 90s have also been exciting, but for a different reason. Modern methods of analysis have progressed to the point where they are now much better able to address practical or substantive macroeconomic questions - whether traditional, new, empirical, or policy related. Indeed, it is no longer necessary to choose between more powerful methods and practical policy concerns. The editors believe that both the progress and the focus on substantive problems has led to a situation in macroeconomics where the area of common ground is considerable, though they cannot yet announce a "new synthesis" that could be endorsed by most scholars working in the field. For this reason this handbook is organized around substantive macroeconomic problems, and not around alternative methodological approaches or schools of thought. The extent to which the field has changed over the past decade is considerable. This work is a response to the need for the survey of the current state of macroeconomics.
John B. Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford's Hoover Institution. He is also the director of Stanford's Introductory Economics Center. His research focuses on macroeconomics, monetary economics and international economics. He co-edited Volume 1 of the Handbook of Macroeconomics and recently wrote Getting Off Track, one of the first books on the financial crisis, and First Principles: Five Keys to Restoring America's Prosperity. He served as senior economist and Member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. From 2001 to 2005, he served as undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury for international affairs. Taylor was awarded the Hoagland Prize and the Rhodes Prize by Stanford University for excellence in undergraduate teaching and the Stanford Economics Department Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. He received the Truman Medal for Economic Policy for extraordinary contribution to the formation and conduct of economic policy, the Bradley Prize for his economic research and policy achievements, the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics, the Alexander Hamilton Award and the Treasury Distinguished Service Award for his policy contributions at the US Treasury, and the Medal of the Republic of Uruguay for his work in resolving the 2002 financial crisis. Taylor received a BA in economics summa cum laude from Princeton and a PhD in economics from Stanford.
Michael Woodford is the John Bates Clark Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University. His first academic appointment was at Columbia in 1984, after which he held positions at the University of Chicago and Princeton University, before returning to Columbia in 2004. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago, his J.D. from Yale Law School, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been a MacArthur Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Mass.), and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London). In 2007 he was awarded the Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics. Woodford's primary research interests are in macroeconomic theory and monetary policy. He has written extensively about the microeconomic foundations of the monetary transmission mechanism, the role of interest rates in inflation determination, rules for the conduct of monetary policy, central-bank communication policy, interactions between monetary and fiscal policy, and the consequences of electronic payments for monetary control. His most important work is the treatise Interest and Prices: Foundations of a Theory of Monetary Policy, recipient of the 2003 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Economics. He is the co-editor of the Handbook in Economics series.