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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: 2018-07-03
    Description: To mobilize Greece's severely underemployed labor potential and confront the social and economic dangers of persistent unemployment, we propose the immediate implementation of a direct public benefit job creation program - a Greek "New Deal." The Job Guarantee (JG) program would offer the unemployed jobs, at a minimum wage, on work projects providing public goods and services. This policy would have substantial positive economic impacts in terms of output and employment, and when newly accrued tax revenue is taken into account, which substantially reduces the net cost of the program, it makes for a comparatively modest fiscal stimulus. At a net cost of roughly 1 percent to 1.2 percent of GDP (depending on the wage level offered), a midrange JG program featuring the direct creation of 300,000 jobs has the potential to reduce the unemployed population by a third or more, once indirect employment effects are taken into account. And our research indicates that the policy would do all this while reducing Greece's debt-to-GDP ratio - which leaves little room for excuses.
    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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  • 3
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray argue that the common diagnosis of a "sovereign debt crisis" ignores the crucial role of rising private debt loads and the significance of current account imbalances within the eurozone. Profligate spending in the periphery is not at the root of the problem. Moreover, pushing austerity in the periphery while ignoring the imbalances within the eurozone is a recipe for deflationary disaster. The various rescue packages on offer for Greece will not ultimately solve the problem, say the authors, and a default is a very real possibility. If a new approach is not embraced, we are likely seeing the end of the European Monetary Union (EMU) as it currently stands. The consequences of a breakup would ripple throughout the EMU as well as the shaky US financial system, and could ultimately trigger the next global financial crisis.
    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: This paper examines the issue of the Greek public debt from different perspectives. We provide a historical discussion of the accumulation of Greece's public debt since the 1960s and the role of public debt in the recent crisis. We show that the austerity imposed since 2010 has been unsuccessful in stabilizing the debt while at the same time taking a heavy toll on the Greek economy and society. The experience of the last six years shows that the country's public debt is clearly unsustainable, and therefore a bold restructuring is needed. An insistence on the current policies is not justifiable either on pragmatic or on moral or any other grounds. The experience of Germany in the early post-World War II period provides some useful hints for the way forward. A solution to the Greek public debt problem is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the solution of the Greek and wider European crisis. A broader agenda that deals with the malaises of the Greek economy and the structural imbalances of the eurozone is of vital importance.
    Keywords: E62 ; F34 ; F41 ; N10 ; N94 ; ddc:330 ; Greece ; Public Debt ; Austerity ; Eurozone ; Crisis
    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: 2018-12-01
    Description: Although the U.S. unemployment rate in 1998 was at its lowest level since the late 1960s, the nation's employment problem is still far from solved. Although many economists assume that unemployment tends toward a natural rate below which it cannot go without creating inflation, this paper asks whether the current employment levels are the best that can be achieved in times of prosperity and whether current employment policies will be able to deal with the challenges of the next downturn. To evaluate these questions, the author examines the relative merits of three proposed strategies to improve the employment situation-a reduced workweek, employment subsidies, and a public service job opportunity program-to see if they will meet the challenges of upholding an individual's basic right to job while not stimulating inflation. He finds that a shorter workweek and wage subsidies both have failed to meet one or both of these challenges, but that a public service job opportunity program, such as the "employer of last resort policy," would satisfy both the full employment and noninflationary criteria.
    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: 2018-11-07
    Description: After reviewing the main determinants of the current eurozone crisis, this paper discusses the feasibility of introducing fiscal currencies as a way to restore fiscal space in peripheral countries, like Greece, that have so far adopted austerity measures in order to abide by their commitments to eurozone institutions and the International Monetary Fund. We show that the introduction of fiscal currencies would speed up the recovery, without violating the rules of eurozone treaties. At the same time, these processes could help transition the euro from its current status as the single currency to the status of "common clearing currency," along the lines proposed by John Maynard Keynes at Bretton Woods as a system of international monetary payments. Eurozone countries could therefore move from "Plan B," aimed at addressing member-state domestic problems, to a "Plan A" for a better European monetary system.
    Keywords: E02 ; E12 ; E42 ; F45 ; ddc:330 ; Euro ; Fiscal Currencies ; Austerity ; Current Account Imbalances ; Clearing Union
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
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    Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
    Publication Date: 2018-12-01
    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: 2018-12-01
    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: 2018-12-01
    Description: The first part of this paper is an overview of projections of Social Security's future and an explanation of why the projections have led many to believe there is a looming financial crisis. We argue that any problems to be faced are far down the road and not severe enough to justify the use of the word "crisis." Something will have to be done to resolve the real and financial problems that are likely to crop up in two or three decades. However, this does not in itself mean that something has to be done today specifically to save Social Security. The second part of the paper discusses the real and financial nature of Social Security's problems. Almost all commentators have focused on the financing of Social Security and thus have proposed financial solutions. We argue that the questions about the future of Social Security concern the size and distribution of the real economic pie. Once this is recognized, it becomes obvious that none of the popular reforms, such as privatization, reduction of current benefits, and President Clinton's proposal to "set aside" budget surpluses, can really help. We conclude with alternative policy recommendations that are consistent with the true nature of the future problem.
    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: 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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