Barry Z. Cynamon and Steven M. Fazzari
US household demand is well below its trend from prior to the Great Recession. We link weak demand to rising income inequality. The demand problem did not arise contemporaneously with higher income inequality because the bottom 95 percent of the income distribution went deeply into debt to maintain consumption growth despite their stagnant income growth. But we argue that the demand impact of greater inequality did appear in the aftermath of the recession. A calibrated Keynesian growth model shows that the lower income share of the bottom 95 percent can explain the deviation of the US economy from its pre-recession trend.
Steven M. Fazzari, Piero Ferri and Edward Greenberg
Steven M. Fazzari, Pietro E. Ferri, Edward G. Greenberg and Anna Maria Variato
This paper considers a puzzle in growth theory from a Keynesian perspective. If neither wage and price adjustment nor monetary policy are effective at stimulating demand, no endogenous dynamic process exists to assure that demand grows fast enough to employ a growing labor force. Yet output grows persistently over long periods, occasionally reaching approximate full employment. We resolve this puzzle by invoking Harrod's instability results. Demand grows because it follows an explosive upward path that is ultimately limited by resource constraints. Downward demand instability is contained by introducing an autonomous component to aggregate demand.