Maturity, Stagnation And Consumer Debt: A Steindlian Approach
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. Copyright © 2006 The Author; Journal compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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Volume (Year): 57 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
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