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  • 1
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: The United States must make a fundamental choice in its economic policy in the next few months, a choice that will shape the US economy for years to come. Pundits and policymakers are divided over how to address what is widely referred to as the "fiscal cliff", a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that will further weaken the domestic economy. Will the United States continue its current, misguided, policy of implementing European-style austerity measures, and the economic contraction that is the inevitable consequence of such policies? Or will it turn aside from the fiscal cliff, using a combination of its sovereign currency system and Keynesian fiscal policy to strengthen aggregate demand? Our analysis presents a model of what we call the "fiscal trap" - a self-imposed spiral of economic contraction resulting from a fundamental misunderstanding of the role and function of fiscal policy in times of economic weakness. Within this framework, we begin our analysis with the disastrous results of austerity policies in the European Union (EU) and the UK. Our account of these policies and their results is meant as a cautionary tale for the United States, not as a model.
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:report
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-11-07
    Description: We hope to model financial fragility and money in a way that captures much of what is crucial in Hyman Minsky's financial fragility hypothesis. This approach to modeling Minsky may be unique in the formal Minskyan literature. Namely, we adopt a model in which a psychological variable we call financial prudence (P) declines over time following a financial crash, driving a cyclical buildup of leverage in household balance sheets. High leverage or a low safe-asset ratio in turn induces high financial fragility (FF). In turn, the pathways of FF and capacity utilization (u) determine the probabilistic risk of a crash in any time interval. When they occur, these crashes entail discrete downward jumps in stock prices and financial sector assets and liabilities. To the endogenous government liabilities in Hannsgen (2014), we add common stock and bank loans and deposits. In two alternative versions of the wage-price module in the model (wage-Phillips curve and chartalist, respectively), the rate of wage inflation depends on either unemployment or the wage-setting policies of the government sector. At any given time t, goods prices also depend on endogenous markup and labor productivity variables. Goods inflation affects aggregate demand through its impact on the value of assets and debts. Bank rates depend on an endogenous markup of their own. Furthermore, in light of the limited carbon budget of humankind over a 50-year horizon, goods production in this model consumes fossil fuels and generates greenhouse gases. The government produces at a rate given by a reaction function that pulls government activity toward levels prescribed by a fiscal policy rule. Subcategories of government spending affect the pace of technical progress and prudence in lending practices. The intended ultimate purpose of the model is to examine the effects of fiscal policy reaction functions, including one with dual unemployment rate and public production targets, testing their effects on numerically computed solution pathways. Analytical results in the penultimate section show that (1) the model has no equilibrium (steady state) for reasons related to Minsky's argument that modern capitalist economies possess a property that he called "the instability of stability," and (2) solution pathways exist and are unique, given vectors of initial conditions and parameter values and realizations of the Poisson model of financial crises.
    Keywords: E12 ; E31 ; E32 ; E37 ; O42 ; ddc:330 ; Chartalism ; Climate Change ; Consumer Debt ; Debt Deflation ; Demand-led Growth ; Financial Fragility Hypothesis ; Fiscal Policy ; Margin Loans ; MMT ; Money ; Nonequilibrium Economics ; Nonlinear Dynamics ; Neo-Kaleckian Growth Models ; SFC Models ; Stagnation ; Wage Contour
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 3
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-11-07
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-11-07
    Description: Longstanding speculation about the likelihood of a housing market collapse has given way in the past few months to consideration of just how far the housing market will fall, and how much damage the debacle will inflict on the economy. This paper assesses the magnitude of the impact of housing price decreases on real private expenditure, examines the role of new types of mortgages and mortgage-related securities, and analyzes possible policy responses.
    Keywords: E21 ; E30 ; E44 ; G10 ; G21 ; G23 ; G28 ; R31 ; ddc:330 ; Housing Bubble ; Housing Prices ; Housing and Growth ; Housing and Monetary Policy ; Stability and Housing Prices ; Housing Price Inflation ; Securitization ; Subprime Mortgages ; Consumption
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 5
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-11-07
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 6
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: With economic growth having cooled to less than 1 percent in the first quarter of 2007, the economy can ill afford a slump in consumption by the American household. But it now appears that the household sector could finally give in to the pressures of rising gasoline prices, a weakening home market, and a large debt burden. The signals are still mixed; for example, while April's retail sales numbers caused concern, May's were much improved, and so was the ISM manufacturing index for June. Consumption growth indicates a slowdown. This Public Policy Brief examines the American household and its economic fortunes, concentrating on how falling home prices might hamper economic growth, generate social dislocations, and possibly lead to a full-blown financial crisis.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; Wohnungsmarkt ; Branchenkrise ; Hypothek ; Bankenkrise ; Wirtschaftswachstum ; USA
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: A wave of revisionist work claims that anticompetitive New Deal legislation such as the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) greatly slowed the recovery from the Depression; in this new public policy brief, President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Research Scholar Greg Hannsgen review these claims in light of current policy debates and cast into doubt the argument that NIRA and NLRA significantly prolonged or worsened the Depression. Moreover, Social Security, federal deposit insurance, and other New Deal programs helped usher in an era of relative prosperity following World War II. When it comes to combating the current recession and employment slump, it is the successful experience with relief and public works, and not the repercussions of pro-union and regulatory legislation, that offer the most relevant and helpful lessons.
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: In this new brief, President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Research Scholar Greg Hannsgen evaluate the current path of fiscal deficits in the United States in the context of government debt and further spending, economic recovery, and unemployment. They are adamant that there is no justification for the belief that cutting spending or raising taxes will reduce the federal deficit, let alone permit solid growth. The worst fears about recent stimulative policies and rapid money-supply growth are proving to be incorrect once again. In the authors' view, we must find the will to reinvigorate government and to maintain Keynesian macro stimulus in the face of ideological opposition and widespread mistrust of government.
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 9
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: In this brief, Research Scholar Greg Hannsgen and President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou focus on the risks and possibilities ahead for the US economy. Using a Keynesian approach and drawing from the commentary of other observers, they analyze publicly available data in order to assess the strength and durability of the expansion that probably began in 2009. They focus on four broad groups of markets that have shown signs of stress for the last several years: financial markets, markets for household goods and services, commodity markets, and labor markets. This kind of analysis does not yield numerical forecasts but it can provide important clues about the short-term outlook for the country's economic well-being, and cast light on some longer-run threats. In particular, dangers and stresses in the financial and banking systems are presently very serious, and labor market data show every sign of a widespread and severe weakness in aggregate demand. Unless there is new resolve for effective government action on the jobs front, drastic cuts in much-needed federal, state, and local programs will become the order of the day in the United States, as in much of Europe.
    Keywords: ddc:330
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 10
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-11-07
    Description: Since the current recession began in December 2007, New Deal legislation and its effectiveness have been at the center of a lively debate in Washington. This paper emphasizes some key facts about two kinds of policy that were important during the Great Depression and have since become the focus of criticism by new New Deal critics: (1) regulatory and labor relations legislation, and (2) government spending and taxation. We argue that initiatives in these policy areas probably did not slow economic growth or worsen the unemployment problem from 1933 to 1939, as claimed by a number of economists in academic papers, in the popular press, and elsewhere. To substantiate our case, we cite some important economic benefits of New Deal-era laws in the two controversial policy areas noted above. In fact, we suggest that the New Deal provided effective medicine for the Depression, though fiscal policy was not sufficiently countercyclical to conquer mass unemployment and prevent the recession of 1937-38; 1933's National Industrial Recovery Act was badly flawed and poorly administered, and the help provided by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 came too late to have a big effect on the recovery.
    Keywords: E20 ; E62 ; J58 ; L43 ; N12 ; ddc:330 ; New Deal ; public works projects ; NIRA ; NLRA ; cartelization ; unions ; labor relations policy ; fiscal policy ; fiscal stimulus ; unemployment ; Great Depression
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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