The great recession of 2007--2009 has generated significant external criticism of the way economists study and try to understand aggregate economic outcomes. Modern macroeconomic theory, in particular, has been criticized for its representation of the economy through highly stylized environments that abstract from distributional issues, ignore or minimize linkages between the financial and nonfinancial sectors of the economy, and, in general, rely too much on highly aggregative frameworks. This special issue of Economic Quarterly collects four articles that describe how modern macroeconomic research has dealt with some of these issues as part of a research program that has been ongoing for more than a decade.
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