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James Crotty

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James Crotty

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Lance Taylor, Armon Rezai, Rishabh Kumar, Nelson Barbosa and Laura Carvalho

This paper is based on a social accounting matrix (SAM) which incorporates the size distribution of income based on data from the BEA national accounts, the widely discussed 2012 CBO distribution study, and BLS consumer surveys. Sources and uses of incomes are disaggregated by household groups including the top 1 percent. Their importance (including saving rates) differs markedly across households. The SAM reveals two transfer flows exceeding 10 percent of GDP via fiscal (broadly progressive) and financial (regressive) channels. A third major flow over time has been a ten percentage point increase in the GDP share of the top 1 percent. A simulation model is used to illustrate how ‘feasible’ modifications to tax/transfer programs and increasing low wages cannot offset the historical redistribution toward the well-to-do.

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Leila E. Davis, Charalampos Konstantinidis and Yorghos Tripodis

The ongoing crisis in the eurozone, together with growing evidence of structural imbalances, points to a role for new institutions to support a more stable European Monetary Union (EMU) structure. As is well established in the context of monetary union when business cycles are not synchronized, a system of fiscal transfers can support monetary union. Unemployment insurance (UI) is, in particular, a key component of fiscal crisis management. UI supports household incomes during downturns, and also acts as an automatic stabilizer, thereby helping individual countries respond to asymmetric shocks. This paper proposes a ‘federalized’ EMU-level UI mechanism as one program that can contribute to a system of fiscal transfers in the EMU, and estimates the cost of the proposed system under different financing and eligibility scenarios. We find that, under a variety of reasonable institutional parameters, such a system is fiscally feasible with limited reason to expect adverse employment effects in member countries. We conclude that fiscal transfers extended via automatic stabilizers are a productive avenue towards a more stable eurozone architecture.

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Eckhard Hein

Starting from a review of the main strands of orthodox and heterodox distribution and growth models and their distinguishing features, with the post-Kaleckian Bhaduri and Marglin (1990) (and Kurz 1990) model as a specific but highly flexible variant of heterodox distribution and growth theories, we develop a simple modelling framework in which we can treat these different theories as different variants of model closure. In a simple closed private one-good economy model, each theory is presented drawing on the relationship between the rate of profit and the rate of growth, as well as on the consideration of one major adjusting variable allowing for the convergence of the endogenous variables of the model to their equilibrium values. This allows for a systematic comparison of exogenous and endogenous variables, of the ‘logic’ or the chain of causalities in each of the approaches, and of the generation of the long-run equilibrium positions of the system. It is finally shown that the post-Kaleckian model is able to cover many but not all of the results generated by the old neoclassical growth model, new neoclassical growth theories, classical–Marxian distribution and growth approaches, and post-Keynesian Kaldor–Robinson and Kalecki–Steindl distribution and growth theories.

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Richard Anker and Martha Anker

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Richard Anker and Martha Anker

Up to this point, this manual has discussed how much disposable income a reference size family needs to be able to afford a basic but decent standard of living. However, almost all countries have statutory deductions from pay that need to be taken into account to ensure that workers have sufficient take home pay. Chapter 14 discusses various statutory deductions from pay such as income tax, social security, worker contributions to national health schemes, etc. and indicates how to take them into account in estimating a living wage. The chapter distinguishes between voluntary deductions from pay such as Christmas savings funds (which is treated as ordinary expenditure), personal deductions from pay which apply to only some individuals such as loan repayment or alimony (which are also treated as ordinary expenditure), and statutory deductions from pay such as for taxes or social security paid by all workers. Statutory deductions from pay are taken into consideration in the calculation of a living wage estimate in the Anker methodology. This is important because statutory deductions from pay can be considerable even in poor countries and for workers with low wages. Since statutory deductions vary from country to country and sometimes even between locations within countries, calculating the amount of statutory deductions needs to be location-specific. A hypothetical example is provided of how this calculation should be made in a country with a fairly simple tax code.