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Maturity, Stagnation And Consumer Debt: A Steindlian Approach

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  • Amitava Krishna Dutt

Abstract

This paper extends a Steindlian model of growth and income distribution to incorporate borrowing by consumers. It shows that borrowing by consumers can improve growth prospects in the short run by increasing consumer demand. However, in the longer run the effects of increasing consumer borrowing are ambiguous because, by increasing consumer debt, it redistributes income towards the rich who have a higher propensity to save, thereby possibly depressing aggregate demand and growth despite the borrowing‐induced expansion. The problem may be exacerbated by financial considerations involving the increase of the interest rate due to greater borrowing, but these considerations are not necessary for it. The problem is more likely to occur when autonomous investment demand is weak, i.e. when borrowing‐induced consumption increases are most required to counter tendencies towards stagnation.

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  • Amitava Krishna Dutt, 2006. "Maturity, Stagnation And Consumer Debt: A Steindlian Approach," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 339-364, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:metroe:v:57:y:2006:i:3:p:339-364
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-999X.2006.00246.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1984. "Stagnation, Income Distribution and Monopoly Power," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 25-40, March.
    2. 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 375-393, December.
    3. Lavoie, Marc, 1995. "The Kaleckian Model of Growth and Distribution and Its Neo-Ricardian and Neo-Marxian Critiques," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 789-818, December.
    4. Thomas I. Palley, 1994. "Debt, Aggregate Demand, and The Business Cycle: an Analysis in the Spirit of Kaldor and Minsky," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 371-390, March.
    5. Blecker, Robert A, 1989. "International Competition, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 395-412, September.
    6. Christopher D. Carroll & Wendy E. Dunn, 1997. "Unemployment Expectations, Jumping (S,s) Triggers, and Household Balance Sheets," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 165-230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:fth:jonhop:386 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Amitava Krishna Dutt, 1995. "Internal Finance And Monopoly Power In Capitalist Economies: A Reformulation Of Steindl'S Growth Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 16-34, February.
    9. You, Jong-Il & Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1996. "Government Debt, Income Distribution and Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 335-351, May.
    10. Pollin, Robert, 1988. "The growth of U.S. household debt: Demand-side influences," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 231-248.
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