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Inequality, financialization, and economic decline

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  • Pasquale Tridico
  • Riccardo Pariboni

Abstract

The objective of this article is to argue that the labor productivity slowdown experienced in recent years by several advanced countries can be explained, following a Kaldorian-Classical approach, by a weak gross domestic product (GDP) performance and by a decline in the wage share. Moreover, drawing inspiration from recent post Keynesian literature, the authors identify the ongoing worsening in income equality and the increase in the degree of financialization as other major explanatory factors of sluggish productivity. The article will provide a brief literature review concerning nonmainstream attempts to endogenize labor productivity, beginning from the famous Verdoorn-Kaldor law (Verdoorn, 1949) and the Kaldor technical progress function (Kaldor, 1961) and including Sylos Labini’s productivity equation (Sylos Labini, 1984, 1999). The authors will then discuss how labor flexibility and shareholder value orientation, one of the main aspects of financialization, can negatively affect equality and labor productivity. Finally, they propose an extended version of the Sylos Labini’s equation, where productivity growth is claimed to depend positively on GDP rate of growth and the wage share, and negatively on income inequality and financialization. They submit to empirical scrutiny their extended productivity equation; the results of their estimations provide support to their theoretical argument.

Suggested Citation

  • Pasquale Tridico & Riccardo Pariboni, 2018. "Inequality, financialization, and economic decline," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 236-259, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:41:y:2018:i:2:p:236-259
    DOI: 10.1080/01603477.2017.1338966
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    3. Parui, Pintu, 2021. "Financialization and endogenous technological change: A post-Kaleckian perspective," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 221-244.
    4. Jesus Ferreiro & Carmen Gómez, 2018. "Employment protection and labour market performance in European Union countries during the Great Recession," FMM Working Paper 31-2018, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    5. Gaetano Perone, 2018. "Produttività del lavoro, dinamica salariale e squilibri commerciali nei Paesi dell'Eurozona: un'analisi empirica," Economia & lavoro, Carocci editore, issue 3, pages 61-98.
    6. Uzar, Umut & Eyuboglu, Kemal & Akdag, Saffet & Alola, Andrew Adewale, 2023. "Causal inference of financial development and institutional quality across the globe," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 626(C).
    7. Alexandre Gomes, 2020. "Regional economic growth in China from a Kaldorian perspective: A comparative study of Nanjing and Suzhou," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 73(295), pages 283-312.
    8. Stefano Di Bucchianico, 2020. "A note on financialization from a Classical-Keynesian standpoint," Department of Economics University of Siena 824, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    9. Diogo Correia & Ricardo Barradas, 2021. "Financialisation and the slowdown of labour productivity in Portugal: A Post-Keynesian approach," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 74(299), pages 325-346.
    10. Matteo Deleidi & Claudia Fontanari & Santiago José Gahn, 2023. "Autonomous demand and technical change: exploring the Kaldor–Verdoorn law on a global level," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 40(1), pages 57-80, April.
    11. Jesus Ferreiro & Carmen Gomez, 2020. "Employment protection and labor market results in Europe," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 401-449, April.
    12. Walter Paternesi Meloni & Antonella Stirati, 2023. "The decoupling between labour compensation and productivity in high‐income countries: Why is the nexus broken?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 61(2), pages 425-463, June.
    13. Riccardo Pariboni & Pasquale Tridico, 2020. "Structural change, institutions and the dynamics of labor productivity in Europe," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 30(5), pages 1275-1300, November.
    14. Borsato, Andrea & Lorentz, André, 2023. "The Kaldor–Verdoorn law at the age of robots and AI," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(10).
    15. Arestis, Philip & Ferreiro, Jesus & Gómez, Carmen, 2020. "Quality of employment and employment protection. Effects of employment protection on temporary and permanent employment," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 180-188.
    16. Marwil J. Dávila-Fernández, 2018. "Alternative Approaches to Technological Change when Growth is BoPC," Department of Economics University of Siena 795, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    17. Philip Arestis, 2020. "Productivity and inequality in the UK: a political economy perspective," Review of Evolutionary Political Economy, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 183-197, August.
    18. Oberholzer, Basil, 2023. "Post-growth transition, working time reduction, and the question of profits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 206(C).
    19. Philip Arestis, 2021. "UK and other advanced economies productivity and income inequality," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3-4), pages 355-370, July.
    20. Ricardo Barradas, 2023. "Why Has Labor Productivity Slowed Down in the Era of Financialization?: Insights from the Post-Keynesians for the European Union Countries," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 55(3), pages 390-422, September.
    21. Walter Paternesi Meloni & Antonella Stirati, 2021. "What has driven the delinking of wages from productivity? A political economy-based investigation for high-income economies," Working Papers PKWP2104, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    22. Lídia Brochier, 2020. "Conflicting‐claims and labour market concerns in a supermultiplier SFC model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(3), pages 566-603, July.
    23. Di Bucchianico, Stefano, 2019. "The Impact of Financialization on the Rate of Profit: A Discussion," Centro Sraffa Working Papers CSWP36, Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa".
    24. Stefano Lucarelli & Gaetano Perone, 2020. "Quando la produttivitˆ limitata dalla bilancia dei pagamenti. Una riflessione sulle relazioni fra centro e periferia nellÕunione monetaria europea a partire dallÕequazione della produttivitˆ di Sylos ," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 73(292), pages 325-353.
    25. João Alcobia & Ricardo Barradas, 2023. "Functional Income Distribution And Secular Stagnation In Europe: An Analysis Of The Post-Keynesian Growth Drivers," Working Papers REM 2023/0283, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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