The Algebraic Galaxy of Simple Macroeconomic Models: A Hitchhiker’s Guide


Evan C Tanner

Publication Date:

May 24, 2017

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


Simple macroeconomic frameworks like the IS/LM have survived because they help us conceptualize complex problems while also providing ‘back of the envelope’ estimates of macroeconomic outcomes. Herein, a bare-bones New Keynesian extension of the IS/LM model yields solutions for core macro variables (output gap, inflation, interest rate, real exchange rate misvaluation)—expressed in percent. We then extend that standard model to also generate a corresponding set of demand-side elements—expressed in currency units. A key aim of the paper is to reconcile these two metrics in ways that also aid communication and intuition—including through IS/LM-style graphs.


Working Paper No. 2017/123



Publication Date:

May 24, 2017



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