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Bruno Jossa

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Daniela Prates

This paper provides an alternative view of monetary sovereignty (MS) from the Neo-Chartalist approach found in the Modern Money Theory literature. The differences between the author's approach to MS and Neo-Chartalism cover the following aspects: the nature of money, the acceptability of money, and the relationship between the central bank and the Treasury. The paper then analyses the relationship between MS, the currency hierarchy (CH), and policy space. The focus is placed on emerging-market economies. It is argued that emerging-market economies' policy space is determined by the interplay of two factors: the degree of MS and the position of national money (that encompasses the state and bank monies) within the CH.

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Gerardo Fujii-Gambero, Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, Carlo Panico and Martín Puchet Anyul

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Thomas Palley

The essential claim of Modern Money Theory (MMT) is sovereign currency issuing governments, with flexible exchange rates and without foreign currency debt, are financially unconstrained. This paper analyses the macroeconomic arguments behind that claim and shows they are suspect. MMT underestimates the economic costs and exaggerates the capabilities of deficit-financed fiscal policy. Those analytic shortcomings render it poor economics. However, MMT's claim that sovereign governments are financially unconstrained is proving a popular political polemic. That is because current distressed economic conditions have generated political resistance to fiscal austerity, and MMT fits the moment by countering the neoliberal polemic that government lacks fiscal space because it is akin to a household.

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Jan Behringer, Sebastian Gechert, Jan Priewe, Torsten Niechoj and Andrew Watt

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Vítor Constâncio

The euro is irreversible but it needs reform to address well-known design deficiencies and also new challenges. Although progress has been made, further steps are needed, the most important of which are: revision of the fiscal rules, establishing a central stabilisation capacity, and completing the banking union (especially a deposit insurance, a capital market union based around a common safe asset, and improved macroprudential policy). This article sets out the necessary reforms in these areas in detail.

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Ricardo Summa and Fabio Freitas

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Brett Fiebiger

As is well known, the closure of the canonical Neo-Kaleckian model is an endogenous rate of capacity utilisation. To allay concerns of Harrodian instability one response has been to endogenise the normal rate to effective demand pressures. Recent contributions have stressed microfoundations for an adjustment in the normal rate towards the actual rate. The new approach focuses on shiftwork and redefines capacity utilisation as the average workweek of capital. This paper examines whether the new concept of capacity utilisation can provide a firmer basis for endogeneity in the normal rate. It argues that the assumption of variability in the normal shift system cannot be generalised across manufacturing industries, while the potential relevance for non-manufacturing industries is unknown. Another concern is that long-run trends in the average workweek of capital and aggregate demand do not coincide. The paper also finds that the long-run trend in the US Federal Reserve's index of capacity utilisation for the manufacturing sector is not flat as frequently claimed. Instead, there is a downward trend from the mid 1960s, which matches the slowdown in aggregate demand.

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Franklin Serrano, Ricardo Summa and Vivian Garrido Moreira

This paper argues that the amended versions (financial wedge and secular stagnation) of the simple pragmatic New Consensus model are as open to theoretical criticism as the original one was. The authors show that: (i) the real natural rate of interest is unlikely to be negative, (ii) it (inconsistently) depends on the Neoclassical investment function drawn at a position of full employment in a model in which the economy is demand-constrained, and (iii) both investment and full employment saving are induced by the trend of demand in the longer run and this challenges the usefulness of the notion of a natural or neutral rate of interest, which (iv) are also subject to the Sraffian capital critique. This is then contrasted with an alternative simple Sraffian supermultiplier model in which the interest rate and the financial wedge are distributive instead of allocative variables, and there is no natural rate of interest since in the longer run there is no trade-off between consumption and investment and also no full employment of labor. As the capital stock adjusts to demand, potential (capacity) saving will be determined by investment, and both investment and capacity saving increase when consumption increases. Finally, we briefly illustrate how this alternative model could begin to make sense of the recent relevant stylized facts.