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Jayati Ghosh

Despite a few pockets of relatively fast expansion, overall deficiency of demand characterises the world economy. The external stimulus provided by the US is declining; Europe's net impact is negative because of the emphasis on generating current-account surpluses. While China is already a significant global economic player, it cannot adequately counter the effect of this reduced impetus from the major developed countries. Much of the developing world is relying on unsustainable debt-driven bubbles in the financially liberalised environment to generate economic recovery. Sustaining the development project will require countries to shift from export-oriented growth to more reliance on domestic demand through wage and employment increases.

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Marc Lavoie

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Jonathan F. Cogliano, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Nils Fröhlich and Roberto Veneziani

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Jonathan F. Cogliano, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Nils Fröhlich and Roberto Veneziani

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Jonathan F. Cogliano, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Nils Fröhlich and Roberto Veneziani

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Jonathan F. Cogliano, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Nils Fröhlich and Roberto Veneziani

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Jonathan F. Cogliano, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Nils Fröhlich and Roberto Veneziani

This book is placed within a long tradition of formal, mathematical analysis of Marxian economics, and indeed aims to revive it. Two related streams of literature are directly relevant to our project. The first stream concerns Marxian value theory, specifically the relationship between values and prices and the labor theory of value. For Marx values are the amount of labor time socially necessary to produce— embodied in—a commodity and serve as underlying regulators of the structure and dynamics of market prices. The labor theory of value purports that there is a direct correspondence of prices to values, but this idea has run aground on a series of mathematical and theoretical issues: the so-called “transformation problem”. The transformation problem has generated a vast literature with contributions from those trying to salvage Marx’s theory as it is, those trying to show its unescapable defects, and those attempting to provide coherent reinterpretations in the spirit of Marx’s original work

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Jonathan F. Cogliano, Peter Flaschel, Reiner Franke, Nils Fröhlich and Roberto Veneziani

Economic theorizing dates back to the time of Aristotle, but it was François Quesnay (1694-1774) who first formulated a model describing a whole economy, with empirical relevance and clear-cut, radical policy implications for the French economy and society. In this chapter we use his model as an introduction to input-output (IO) tables and IO analysis, focusing on a classic translation of Quesnay’s (1759) Tableau Économique into IO language by Barna (1975). From this perspective, Quesnay’s model provides an IO matrix with two commodities, corn and manufactured goods, where the corn input into the production of corn (agriculture) and manufacturing (including trade) also includes the subsistence consumption of workers as a representation of their direct labor input (as if they were cattle).

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Arslan Razmi

Open-economy considerations that create the possibility of ‘beggar-thy-neighbor’ effects offer one explanation for why the relationship between distribution, demand, and growth may be complicated in the short run. Several authors have argued recently, however, that even if demand and growth are profit-led in many individual countries, the global economy is likely to be wage-led since the planet as a whole runs balanced trade. This paper shows that this argument, while intuitively appealing, does not hold up to careful examination. Although the world economy as a whole is a closed system, it is not isomorphic to a closed economy, thanks to repercussion effects, relative price movements, and cross-country heterogeneity. Using asymmetries in consumption as a simple illustrative device I show that, in a two-country world, the effects of global redistribution depend on the nature of the constituent economies. This conclusion holds in spite of balanced trade at a planetary level, and regardless of whether one or both economies have excess capacity or whether zero-sum effects are present or not.

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Elissa Braunstein and Stephanie Seguino

Latin America experienced a decline in household income inequality in the 2000s, in sharp contrast to growing inequality in other regions of the world. This has been attributed to macroeconomic policy, social spending, and increased returns to education. This paper explores this issue from a gender perspective by econometrically evaluating how changes in economic structure and policy have impacted gendered employment and unemployment rates, as well as gender inequality in these variables, using country-level panel data for a set of 18 Latin American countries between 1990 and 2010. Three variables stand out as having consistent gender-equalizing effects in the labor market: social spending, minimum wages, and public investment. Less important or consistent were the effects of external factors (such as terms of trade), economic structure, and GDP growth.