New Keynesian economics is the school of thought in modern macroeconomics that evolved from the ideas of John Maynard Keynes. Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money in the 1930s, and his influence among academics and policymakers increased through the 1960s. In the 1970s, however, new classical economists such as Robert Lucas, Thomas J. Sargent, and Robert Barro called into question many of the precepts of the Keynesian revolution. The label “new Keynesian” describes those economists who, in the 1980s, responded to this new classical critique with adjustments to the original Keynesian tenets.

The primary disagreement between new classical and new Keynesian economists is over how quickly wages and prices adjust. New classical economists build their macroeconomic theories on the assumption that wages and prices are flexible. They believe that prices “clear” markets—balance supply and demand—by adjusting quickly. New Keynesian economists, however, believe that market-clearing models cannot explain short-run economic fluctuations, and so they advocate models with “sticky” wages and prices. New Keynesian theories rely on this stickiness of wages and prices to explain why involuntary unemployment exists and why monetary policy has such a strong influence on economic activity.

Link to Full Article in The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Library of Economics and Liberty