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An Important Inconsistency at the Heart of the Standard Macroeconomic Model

  • Wynne Godley
  • Anwar Shaikh

The neoclassical macroeconomic dichotomy between real and nominal variables is shown to be generally false, even within the standard structure of the model. The model implicitly assumes that disbursements via interest payments on bonds somehow ensure that all profits are disbursed. But the two are generally different. Forcing them to match renders the model mathematically inconsistent. Alternately, distinguishing the two rectifies the inconsistency but destroys the dichotomy between real and nominal variables and dramatically alter the model's outcomes. One striking consequence is that a rise in the money supply can lead to a fall in prices.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Post Keynesian Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 423-441

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Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:24:y:2002:i:3:p:423-441
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://mesharpe.metapress.com/link.asp?target=journal&id=109348

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  1. Buiter, Willem H, 1980. "Walras' Law and All That: Budget Constraints and Balance Sheet Constraints in Period Models and Continuous Time Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 1-16, February.
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