In my macro critique, I mentioned "meta-narratives" — what did I mean by that? Noah Smith has a nice concise description of one of them today in Bloomberg that helps illustrate what I mean: the wage-price spiral. The narrative of the 1960s and 70s was that the government fiscal and monetary policy started pushing unemployment below the "Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment" (NAIRU), causing inflation to explode. The meta-narrative is the wage-price spiral: unemployment that is "too low" causes wages to rise (because of scarce labor), which causes prices to rise (because of scarce goods for all the employed people to buy). In a sense, the meta-narrative is the mechanism behind specific stories (narratives). But given that these stories are often just-so stories, the "mechanism" behind them (despite often being mathematically precise) is frequently a one-off model that doesn't really deserve the moniker "mechanism". That's why I called it a "meta-narrative" (it's the generalization of a just-so story for a specific macro event).
Now just because I call them meta-narratives doesn't mean they are wrong. Eventually some meta-narratives become a true models. In a sense, the "non-equilibrium shock causality" (i.e macro seismograms) is a meta-narrative I've developed to capture the narrative of women entering the workforce and 70s inflation simultaneously with the lack of inflation today.
Below, I will give a (non-exhaustive) list of meta-narratives and example narratives that are instances of them. I will also list some problems with each of them. This is not to say these problems can't be overcome in some way (and usually are via additional just-so story elements). None have yielded a theory that describes macro observables with any degree of empirical accuracy, so that's a common problem I'll just state here at the top.
Meta-narrative: Wage-price spiral
Narrative: e.g. Exploding inflation in the 70s/"stagflation"
Problems: Doesn't seem to apply to today
Meta-narrative: Human decisions impacting macro observables
Narrative: e.g. Rational expectations and 70s inflation
Problems: Leads to theories that do worse than VARs
Meta-narrative: Monetary policy primacy
Narrative: e.g. Volcker disinflation
Problems: Monetary policy seems ineffective today
Meta-narrative: The Phillips curve
Narrative: e.g. Observed inflation/employment trade-off in the 50s and 60s
Problems: Flattening to the point of non-existence
Meta-narrative: Boom-bust cycles
(von Mises/Minksy investment/credit cycle, Fisher debt-deflation)
Narrative: e.g. The Great Depression, the Great Recession
Problems: Post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning; recessions aren't cyclical making each investment boom a just-so story of a particular length and critical point ("Minsky moment")
Meta-narrative: Money as a relevant variable
Narrative: e.g. 70s inflation, Friedman-Schwartz account of the Great Depression
Problems: No specific measure of money makes sense of multiple periods of inflation or deflation; extrapolated willy-nilly from hyperinflation episodes to low inflation; lack of inflation with QE