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Price Flexibility and Output Stability: An Old Keynesian View

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Abstract

The central macroeconomic issue is the same as ever. How reliable are automatic market adjustments in maintaining full employment equilibrium in the face of aggregate demand shocks? Many modern theorists assume that nominal prices, including wages, jump instantaneously to keep supply and demand equal in all markets. No excess supply, no involuntary unemployment, can ever arise. However, since actual price adjustments take real time, greater flexibility can be destabilizing. "Real balance" effects are overrated, and the demand effects of nominal price changes are perverse. Activist macro policies are necessary, as Keynes argued, even though nominal prices are far from rigid.

Suggested Citation

  • James Tobin, 1991. "Price Flexibility and Output Stability: An Old Keynesian View," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 994R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 1991.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:994r
    Note: CFP 834.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aggregate demand; sticky prices;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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