Re-evaluating the AS-AD model as a device for teaching intermediate macroeconomics

University of Queensland
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Economics Education, 2009, 6 (2), pp. 64 - 86
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In the previous issue of this journal, we provided a survey of AS-AD models used in intermediate macroeconomic textbooks. That exercise was seen as preliminary to a careful consideration of criticisms made of the AS-AD model that suggest it should cease to be used as a device for teaching intermediate macroeconomics. In this paper, we undertake this investigation and examine a range of problems that have been identified with the AS-AD model. We argue that that while a number of these criticisms are valid, they may be overcome in ways that leave the model largely intact as a device for teaching the neoclassical explanation of price-output determination. One of these ways involves a new interpretation the model. We do, however, point out two more fundamental criticisms of the AS-AD model that have not featured in the literature, and argue that acceptance of these criticisms would require replacement of the neoclassical paradigm itself. Until a decision to do this is taken by the profession, we argue that a revised AS-AD model has a continuing role to play in teaching intermediate macroeconomics.
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