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Social Democracy and Full Employment

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  • Andrew Glyn

Abstract

Full employment was the centrepiece of the economic policy of social democracy in the post-war period. Whilst the role of Keynesianism in policy making may be exaggerated, it offered the prospect of maintaining full employment without any section of society having to pay. Problems with the foreign balance and with the budget deficits, however, may require that some part of society has to pay with reduced consumption for full employment. This will tend to sharpen the distributive conflicts which, as Kalecki argued, are endemic to full employment capitalism and which eventually rendered it unsustainable by undermining profitability and the dynamism of private investment. The demand necessary to sustain full employment can be maintained by a balanced budget expansion provided the political support can be secured for the higher taxation and provided the institutions for containing distributional conflict can be developed.
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Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Glyn, 1995. "Social Democracy and Full Employment," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 22, pages 109-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:noj:journl:v:22:y:1995:p:109-126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Layard, R. & Nickell, S., 1991. "Unemployment in the OECD Countries," Economics Series Working Papers 99130, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Calmfors, Lars, 1993. "Lessons from the macroeconomic experience of Sweden," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 25-72, March.
    3. Boltho, Andrea, 1989. "Did policy activism work?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1709-1726, December.
    4. Bhaskar, V. & Glyn, A., 1992. "Investment and Profitability: The Evidence from the Advanced Capitalist Countries," Economics Series Working Papers 99144, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Jackman, Richard & Layard, Richard, 1991. "Does Long-term Unemployment Reduce a Person's Chance of a Job? A Time-Series Test," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(229), pages 93-106, February.
    6. Albert Ma, Ching-to & Weiss, Andrew M., 1993. "A signaling theory of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 135-157, January.
    7. Glyn, Andrew, 1997. "Does Aggregate Profitability Really Matter?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(5), pages 593-619, September.
    8. Lundberg, Erik, 1985. "The Rise and Fall of the Swedish Model," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 1-36, March.
    9. Nickell, S., 1991. "Wages, Unemployment and Population Change," Economics Series Working Papers 99122, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. David R. Howell, 2010. "Institutions, Aggregate Demand and Cross-Country Employment Performance: Alternative Theoretical Perspectives and the Evidence," Working Papers wp228, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    2. Ioannidis, Yiorgos, 2011. "Employment in the Keynesian and neoliberal universe: theoretical transformations and political correlations," MPRA Paper 45062, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jochem, Sven, 1998. "The social democratic full-employment model in transition: The Scandinavian experiences in the 1980s and 1990s," Working papers of the ZeS 02/1998, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
    4. Hancké, Bob, 1996. "Labour Unions, business co-ordination and economic adjustment in Western Europe, 1980-90," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economic Change and Employment FS I 96-309, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    5. Eduardo F. Bastian & Mark Setterfield, 2017. "Nominal exchange rate shocks and inflation in an open economy: towards a structuralist inflation targeting agenda," Working Papers 1720, New School for Social Research, Department of Economics.

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