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Cycles and trends in U.S. net borrowing flows

Author

Listed:
  • Nelson H. Barbosa-Filho
  • Codrina Rada von Arnim
  • Lance Taylor
  • Luca Zamparelli

Abstract

Trend and cyclical patterns of household, business, government, and foreign net borrowing shares of gross domestic product are reviewed using diagrams and covariance decompositions of the identity stating that the sum of the shares equals zero. Household and business net borrowing shares and thereby those sectors' contributions to effective demand are procyclical. Household borrowing over the cycle is led by residential investment. Consumption varies countercyclically, but it is offset by rising taxes as opposed to saving, suggesting that "consumption smoothing" by households as featured in much macro theory is not empirically important. Procyclicality of private net borrowing is countered by a countercyclical government deficit along traditional lines. In terms of trends, "twin" fiscal and foreign deficits appear infrequently, with the household and external deficits being much more closely related. The former is linked to a strong upward trend in health-care spending as a share of disposable income, with a corresponding downward trend in saving after the early 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Nelson H. Barbosa-Filho & Codrina Rada von Arnim & Lance Taylor & Luca Zamparelli, 2008. "Cycles and trends in U.S. net borrowing flows," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 623-648, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:623-648
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson H. Barbosa-Filho & Lance Taylor, 2006. "Distributive And Demand Cycles In The Us Economy-A Structuralist Goodwin Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 389-411, July.
    2. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters,in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Chiarella,Carl & Flaschel,Peter & Franke,Reiner, 2011. "Foundations for a Disequilibrium Theory of the Business Cycle," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521369923, May.
    4. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
    5. William G. Gale & Peter R. Orszag, 2004. "Budget Deficits, National Saving, and Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 101-210.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michalis Nikiforos & Laura Carvalho & Christian Schoder, 2013. "Foreign and Public Deficits in Greece: In Search of Causality," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_771, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Fernando Rugitsky, 2015. "Financialization, Housing Bubble, and the Great Recession: an interpretation based on a circuit of capital model," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2015_24, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    3. Barry Z. Cynamon & Steven M. Fazzari, 2016. "Inequality, the Great Recession and slow recovery," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(2), pages 373-399.
    4. Armon Rezai, 2013. "Cycles of demand and distribution and monetary policy in the U.S. economy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 231-250.
    5. Ocampo, Jose Antonio, 2014. "The provision of global liquidity: The global reserve system," WIDER Working Paper Series 141, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Barry Z. Cynamon & Steven M. Fazzari, 2013. "Inequality and Household Finance during the Consumer Age," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_752, Levy Economics Institute.
    7. repec:taf:revpoe:v:28:y:2016:i:1:p:45-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Laura Barbosa de Carvalho, 2012. "Current Account Imbalances and Economic Growth: a two-country model with real-financial linkages," Working Papers 1203, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.
    9. Mark Setterfield & Yun K. Kim & Jeremy Rees, 2016. "Inequality, Debt Servicing and the Sustainability of Steady State Growth," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(1), pages 45-63, January.
    10. Glötzl, Florentin & Rezai, Armon, 2016. "A sectoral net lending perspective on Europe," Ecological Economic Papers 5109, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    11. Florentin GLÖTZL & Armon REZAI, 2016. "A sectoral net lending perspective on Europe," Ecological Economics Papers ieep12, Institute of Ecological Economics.

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