I didn’t choose to research business cycle models because I thought it would be fun or easy. I know nothing about the topic even after three days of reading though the Macroeconomics Reader. To be honest I chose this topic because when I hear the term “business cycle” I think of structure, something established and easily predictable. I like structure, so naturally I felt that I would like this theory. It made sense in my head at the time.
I just finished reading Charles Plosser’s article “Understanding Real Business Cycles” from the 1989 Journal of Economic Perspectives. The biggest point I have been able to take away from that first read-through is that real business cycle theory “remains an incomplete theory of the business cycle (page 416).” I kept wondering: If the theorists don’t yet understand this fully, how can I? Much of the chapter was riddled with graphs, tables, and calculations which, quite frankly, I did not understand at all.
The fact that I cannot seem to wrap my sophomore, econ major brain around equilibrium business cycle models does not mean I would rather research a different topic. In fact, it makes me want to try harder to understand it. Maybe I just have to put even more time and concentration into it. After all, my fellow classmates will not be able to learn this theory if do not fully grasp it.
So tomorrow we will be locking into our topics. I plan on sticking to business cycles and making sure I know it forward and backward come presentation day. The hardest part of this process, I think, will be describing the topic in two sentences according to what I know so far in tomorrow’s class.
I hope everyone is enjoying their topics and having an interesting time. I certainly am.