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Thomas Palley

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Thomas Palley

Economic theory is prone to hysteresis. Once an idea is adopted, it is difficult to change. In the 1970s, the economics profession abandoned the Keynesian Phillips curve and adopted Milton Friedman's natural rate of unemployment (NRU) hypothesis. The shift was facilitated by a series of lucky breaks. Despite much evidence against the NRU, and much evidence and theoretical argument supportive of the Keynesian Phillips curve, the NRU hypothesis remains ascendant. The hypothesis has had an enormous impact on macroeconomic theory and policy. 2018 is the 50th anniversary of Friedman's introduction of the NRU hypothesis. The anniversary offers an opportunity to challenge rather than celebrate it.

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Thomas I. Palley

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Thomas I. Palley

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Thomas I. Palley

This chapter presents the post-Keynesian theory of endogenous money supply and shows how it is fundamentally different from conventional money-supply theory. The conventional approach relies on the money multiplier and bank lending is invisible. Post-Keynesian theory discards the money multiplier and focuses on bank lending, which drives money creation. The chapter emphasizes the structuralist version of post-Keynesian theory, which retains Keynes’s liquidity-preference theory of long-term interest rates and also recognizes that banks are subject to financial constraints which limit their lending activities. The chapter then shows how to derive the LM schedule in an endogenous-money economy, which is a necessary prelude to reconstructing the IS–LM model.

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Thomas I. Palley

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Thomas I. Palley

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Thomas I. Palley

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Thomas I. Palley

This paper provides a critique of zero lower bound (ZLB) economics which has become the new orthodoxy for explaining stagnation. ZLB economics is an extension of pre-Keynesian economics which attributes macroeconomic dysfunction to rigidities and market imperfections. The ZLB is the latest rigidity in that pre-Keynesian tradition. The paper argues negative nominal interest rates, even if feasible, may be unable to remedy Keynesian demand shortage unemployment, and might even aggravate the problem. That is because there exist non-reproduced assets whose return dominates that of investment, and saving may also increase in response to negative rates. Consequently, there may be no natural rate of interest.