Central banks play a major role in shaping the monetary system of societies and financial markets. The knowledge of their policy area is mainly provided by macroeconomics. The social sciences know very little about the transformation of economic knowledge into policy practices. The research project aims at the empirical investigation of the discursive links between interpretations of the economic and political world generated by New Classical Macroeconomics and aspects of policy-making conducted by central banks. Two major sets of issues arise from this proposition:
The research project combines a (meta-)theoretical perspective on economics with an empirical investigation of the interfaces between the system of science and the system of finance. Both sets of issues will be approached with a discourse analysis rooted in the sociology of knowledge. The empirical research, designed as a genealogy of policy-knowledge of central banks, is based on a document analysis.
The project bundles three major working stages:
The first stage addresses the construction of knowledge in economics. The goal is to analyze the important body of work developed by the main actors of New Classical Macroeconomics (i.a. Robert E. Lucas, Thomas J. Sargent, Edward C. Prescott, Finn E Kydland). The text material will be approached by addressing three questions:
The second stage consists of an analysis of strategical documents from Federal Reserve Banks that entail the implementation of the proposals by New Classical Macroeconomics.
Finally, the third stage comprises an analysis of documents of the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank. The research tasks for both text corpora are: