Quarterly Review 2321

Nobel Laureate Robert E. Lucas, Jr.: Architect of Modern Macroeconomics

V. V. Chari | Consultant

Spring 1999

In 1995, Robert E. Lucas, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. This review places Lucas’ work in a historical context and evaluates the effect of this work on the economics profession. Lucas’ central contribution is that he developed and applied economic theory to answer substantive questions in macroeconomics. Economists today routinely analyze systems in which agents operate in complex probabilistic environments to understand interactions about which the great theorists of an earlier generation could only speculate. This sea change is due primarily to Lucas.

This essay is reprinted from the Journal of Economic Perspectives (Winter 1998, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 171–86) with the permission of the American Economic Association.

Reprinted From: Journal of Economic Perspectives (Vol. 12, No. 1, Winter 1998, pp. 171-186)

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