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Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach

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  • Gauti B. Eggertsson
  • Paul Krugman

Abstract

In this article we present a simple new Keynesian--style model of debt-driven slumps--that is, situations in which an overhang of debt on the part of some agents, who are forced into rapid deleveraging, is depressing aggregate demand. Making some agents debt-constrained is a surprisingly powerful assumption. Fisherian debt deflation, the possibility of a liquidity trap, the paradox of thrift and toil, a Keynesian-type multiplier, and a rationale for expansionary fiscal policy all emerge naturally from the model. We argue that this approach sheds considerable light both on current economic difficulties and on historical episodes, including Japan's lost decade (now in its 18th year) and the Great Depression itself. (JEL Codes: E32, E52, E62) Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:3:p:1469-1513
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/qje/qjs023
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    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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