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Marc Lavoie

Abstract

Misguided economics policies relying on an unrealistic macroeconomic theory that denied the possibility of a crisis are at the origins of the global financial crisis. The goal of the present paper is to recall how the end of the Great Moderation has been interpreted by the advocates of mainstream economics, and how they have questioned their own macroeconomic theories as a consequence of what happened during and after the financial crisis. There is thus a need to reconsider most aspects of mainstream theory. In particular, the crisis has once more demonstrated that potential output is influenced by aggregate demand – a phenomenon associated with hysteresis, which also questions concepts such as the natural rate of interest and crowding-out effects.

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Apostolos Fasianos, Diego Guevara and Christos Pierros

Abstract

This paper explores the process of financialization from a historical perspective during the course of the twentieth century. We identify four phases of financialization: the first from the 1900s to 1933 (early financialization), the second from 1933 to 1940 (transitory phase), the third between 1945 and 1973 (de-financialization), and the fourth period picks up from the early 1970s and leads to the Great Recession (complex financialization). Our findings indicate that the main features of the current phase of financialization were already in place in the first period. We closely examine institutions within these distinct financial regimes and focus on the relative size of the financial sector, the respective regulation regime of each period, the intensity of the shareholder value orientation, as well as the level of financial innovations implemented. Although financialization is a recent term, the process is far from novel. We conclude that its effects can be studied better with reference to economic history.

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Brett Fiebiger and Marc Lavoie

Abstract

In late 2008 a consensus was reached amongst global policymakers that fiscal stimulus was required to counteract the effects of the Great Recession, a view dubbed as the New Fiscalism. Pragmatism triumphed over the stipulations of the New Consensus Macroeconomics, which viewed discretionary fiscal actions as an irrelevant tool of counter-cyclical macroeconomic policy (if not altogether detrimental). The partial re-embrace of Keynes was however relatively short-lived, lasting only until early 2010 when fiscal consolidation came to the forefront again, although the merits of fiscal austerity were questioned when economic recovery did not really materialize in 2012. This paper traces the ups and downs of the debate over the New Fiscalism, especially at the International Monetary Fund, by analysing IMF documents and G20 communiqués. Using fiscal policy as a means to exit the crisis remains contentious even amidst recognition of secular stagnation.

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Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia

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Jane Knodell

Post-Keynesians disagree about whether money is intrinsically endogenous, or whether it has become endogenous over time with the emergence of modern central banking. In this chapter, monetary history and institutional analysis are brought to bear on the issue. The chapter examines two early monetary systems that lacked central banks: metallic money in fifteenth- to seventeenth-century western Europe, and paper money in eighteenth-century Britain and British North America. These systems are found to have been imperfectly endogenous, owing to inadequacies in their mechanics of supply. Furthermore, endogeneity did not evolve in an unremittingly forward path historically, as the literature suggests: in some respects, metallic-money systems were more flexible than paper-money systems.

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Louis-Philippe Rochon and Sergio Rossi

What precisely is endogenous money? Does the central bank always accommodate banks’ demand for central-bank money? Does it have the ability to increase the money supply exogenously? Can it really have the rate of interest of its choice? Has money always been endogenous or has it become endogenous through time with the advent of certain institutions? This volume shows that a proper understanding of money is still required, and that the institutional actions of central banks reveal how recent so-called unconventional policies are doomed to fail. Revisiting the fundamental elements of the theory of endogenous money leads to completely different sets of monetary policy recommendations.

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Edited by Louis-Philippe Rochon and Sergio Rossi

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Pablo Gabriel Bortz

This paper sets out to find commonalities and divergences in the writings of Marx, Kalecki and Keynes regarding their analysis of social (class) conflict in capitalist societies. We find evidence that shows that, contrary to a harmonious view of society, Keynes had a class stratification of society and an understanding of conflictive interests and developments compatible with that of Marx and Kalecki. The presence of political motivations as fuel for economic instability is another shared element between Kalecki and Keynes. Differences arise regarding the relative importance of the inter- and intra-class dynamic as a driver of distributive conflict, and the State's capabilities to guide or control those conflicts and their consequences.

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Antonin Pottier and Adrien Nguyen-Huu

We examine to what extent the Keen model (Keen 1995) is a faithful modelling of Minsky's financial instability hypothesis. We focus on debt, money, and debt-induced crisis. We propose a clear interpretation of the debt: households lend unconsumed income to firms to finance their investments, and money creation is not necessary. We offer a detailed description of the economic collapse and analyse its causes thanks to numerical experiments. The crisis is triggered by profits squeezed by wages and not by debt overhang. We test alternative assumptions on the investors’ behaviour to show that behaviour at very low profits is fundamental. We conclude that the Keen crisis has few Minskyan flavours.

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Roger E.A. Farmer

This paper explains the connection between ideas developed in my recent books and papers and those of economists who self-identify as post-Keynesians. My own work is both neoclassical and ‘old Keynesian.’ Much of my published work assumes that people have rational expectations and that ‘animal spirits’ should be modeled as a new fundamental. I adopt a general equilibrium framework to model the macroeconomy. But although I write from a neoclassical tradition the themes I explore in my published writing have much in common with heterodox economics. This paper explains the common elements between these seemingly disparate traditions. I make the case for unity between post-Keynesian and general equilibrium theory under the banner of post-Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium theory.