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Real Sector Imbalances and the Great Recession

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  • Mark Setterfield

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Trinity College)

Abstract

While much attention has been focused on the financial woes of the US economy in the wake of the Great Recession, this chapter focuses on an important real sector imbalance: the failure of real wages to keep pace with productivity growth over the past three decades. This imbalance is shown to create a structural flaw in the aggregate demand generating process that threatens to undermine future macroeconomic performance. The chapter reflects on the policy responses necessary to remedy this situation, and the likelihood that the US will succeed in avoiding a future of secular stagnation.

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File URL: http://internet2.trincoll.edu/repec/WorkingPapers2012/WP12-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Trinity College, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1201.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tri:wpaper:1201

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Keywords: Real wage growth; productivity growth; aggregate demand; household debt; Great Recession;

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  1. Luca Gambetti & Jordi Gal�, 2009. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 26-57, January.
  2. Simon Mohun, 2006. "Distributive shares in the US economy, 1964--2001," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 347-370, May.
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  6. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: Changes in the Volatility of Economic Activity at the Macro and Micro Levels," NBER Working Papers 14048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cynamon Barry Z. & Fazzari Steven M., 2008. "Household Debt in the Consumer Age: Source of Growth--Risk of Collapse," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-32, October.
  8. Bhaduri, Amit & Marglin, Stephen, 1990. "Unemployment and the Real Wage: The Economic Basis for Contesting Political Ideologies," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(4), pages 375-93, December.
  9. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "Housing is the business cycle," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 149-233.
  10. A. B. Atkinson, 2009. "Factor shares: the principal problem of political economy?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 3-16, Spring.
  11. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
  12. Edward N. Wolff & Ajit Zacharias, 2006. "Household Wealth and the Measurement of Economic Well-Being in the United States," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_447, Levy Economics Institute.
  13. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Yun Kim & Mark Setterfield & Yuan Mei, 2013. "A Theory of Aggregate Consumption," Working Papers 1301, Trinity College, Department of Economics.

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