Reorienting Fiscal Policy: A Critical Assessment of Fiscal Fine-Tuning
AbstractThe present paper offers a fundamental critique of fiscal policy as it is understood in theory and exercised in practice. Two specific demand-side stabilization methods are examined here: conventional pump priming and the new designation of fiscal policy effectiveness found in the New Consensus literature. A theoretical critique of their respective transmission mechanisms reveals that they operate in a trickle-down fashion that not only fails to secure and maintain full employment but also contributes to the increasing postwar labor market precariousness and the erosion of income inequality. The two conventional demand-side measures are then contrasted with the proposed alternative--a bottom-up approach to fiscal policy based on a reinterpretation of Keynes's original policy prescriptions for full employment. The paper offers a theoretical, methodological, and policy rationale for government intervention that includes specific direct-employment and investment initiatives, which are inherently different from contemporary hydraulic fine-tuning measures. It outlines the contours of the modern bottom-up approach and concludes with some of its advantages over conventional stabilization methods.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_772.
Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Full Employment; Fiscal Policy; Aggregate Demand; Business Cycles; Income Distribution; New Consensus;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
- E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
- J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-09-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-MAC-2013-09-06 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-PBE-2013-09-06 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2013-09-06 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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