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Kaldor and the Keynesian theory of distribution

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  • Alain Béraud

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Abstract

Kaldor presents his analysis of the distribution as a Keynesian theory. His work is inspired by Keynes’ contributions, in the Treatise on Money, and by Kalecki. However, while Keynes and Kalecki develop analyses of short period, Kaldor studies a long period equilibrium so that the mechanism on which the adjustment is based, the flexibility of profit margins, is inappropriate. Pasinetti, by suggesting that the Kaldor’s article rests on a logical slip and that the correction of this error shows the rate of profit depends only on the natural growth rate of the economy and on the capitalists’ propensity to save, boosted the debate. However, his thesis seems debatable: the idea that the saving function proposed by Kaldor is logically inconsistent is unfounded. Finally, the crucial hypothesis on which rests the reasoning of Pasinetti, the existence of a class of individuals who earn only profit appears to characterize hardly in a relevant way the economic systems which prevail in advanced economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Béraud, 2011. "Kaldor and the Keynesian theory of distribution," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 61, pages 113-156.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpo:journl:y:2011:i:61:p:113-156
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    Keywords

    Kaldor; Pasinetti; Keynes; Kalecki; Income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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