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Title:Inflationary and distributional effects of alternative fiscal policies: An augmented Minskyan-Kaleckian model PDF Logo
Authors:Tcherneva, Pavlina R.
Issue Date:2012
Series/Report no.:Working paper, Levy Economics Institute 706
Abstract:This paper augments the basic Post-Keynesian markup model to examine the effects of different fiscal policies on prices and income distribution. This is an approach à la Hyman P. Minsky, who argued that in the modern era, government is both 'a blessing and a curse', since it stabilizes profits and output by imparting an inflationary bias to the economy, but without stabilizing the economy at or near full employment. To build on these insights, the paper considers several distinct functions of government: 1) government as an income provider, 2) as an employer, and 3) as a buyer of goods and services. The inflationary and distributional effects of each of these fiscal policies differ considerably. First, the paper examines the effects of income transfers to individuals and firms (in the form of unemployment insurance and investment subsidies, respectively). Next, it considers government as an employer of workers (direct job creation) and as a buyer of goods and services (indirect job creation). Finally, it modifies the basic theoretical model to incorporate fiscal policy à la Minsky and John Maynard Keynes, where the government ensures full employment through direct job creation of all of the unemployed unable to find private sector work, irrespective of the phase of the business cycle. The paper specifically models Minsky’s proposal for government as the employer of last resort (ELR), but the findings would apply to any universal direct job creation plan of similar design. The paper derives a fundamental price equation for a full-employment economy with government. The model presents a 'price rule' for government spending that ensures that the ELR is not a source of inflation. Indeed, the fundamental equation illustrates that in the presence of such a price rule, at full employment inflationary effects are observed from sources other than the public sector employment program.
Subjects:Minsky
Kalecki model
alternative fiscal polices
income transfers
investment subsidies
direct job creation
employer of last resort
inflation
income distribution
JEL:E12
E24
E25
E31
E62
H11
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Working Papers, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

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