The winter of our discontent macroeconomics after the crisis

Rodolphe dos Santos Ferreira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article discusses three reasons for dissatisfaction with regard to the core of contemporary macroeconomics and its inability to conceive the outbreak of the Great Recession. The first comes from the excessive importance given to the demand for microeconomic foundations to the detriment of treating the problem of the aggregation and coordination of individual behaviours, an imbalance that culminates in the frequent recourse to the figure of the representative consumer. The second concerns the usurpation by this same consumer of the role of decision-maker about employment and investment at the expense of firms, simple insignificant automata on markets governed by perfect or monopolistic competition. The third involves the simplistic way in which the rational expectations hypothesis has often been applied, treating agents as observers rather than actors who create the conditions for realizing their own forecasts. These three reasons lead to arguing for a macroeconomic modelling that takes the heterogeneity of agents seriously and restores to far-from-insignificant firms a driving role in the process of making decisions about employment and investment, in a context of strategic interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
JournalRevue de l'OFCE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregation
  • Endogenous fluctuations
  • Entrepreneurial decision to invest
  • Microeconomic foundations
  • Oligopolistic competition
  • Representative consumer
  • Strategic indeterminacy


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