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Dualism and Macroeconomic Volatility

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  • Philippe Aghion
  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Thomas Piketty

Abstract

This paper develops a simple macroeconomic model that shows that combining capital market imperfections together with unequal access to investment opportunities across individuals can generate endogenous and permanent fluctuations in aggregate GDP, investment, and interest rates. Reducing inequality of access may be a necessary condition for macroeconomic stabilization. Moreover, countercyclical fiscal policies have a role to play: in our model savings are underutilized in slumps because of the limited debt capacity of potential investors. Therefore, the government should issue public debt during recessions in order to absorb those idle savings and finance investment subsidies or tax cuts for investors.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Abhijit Banerjee & Thomas Piketty, 1999. "Dualism and Macroeconomic Volatility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1359-1397.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:4:p:1359-1397.
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    1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393, Elsevier.
    2. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    4. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, December.
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