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Long-Term Fundamentals of the 2008 Economic Crisis

  • David Mayer-Foulkes

    ()

    (Division of Economics, CIDE)

The current economic crisis has long-term causes that are rooted in the economic dynamics of globalization. I construct a Solow-style endogenous model of capital accumulation, technological change, trade and cheap-factor-seeking foreign direct investment (FDI), based on myopic agents. Combining advanced technologies with low costs, FDI yields extraordinary profits that generate asymmetric innovation incentives that explain the following stylized facts. Globalization (a) increases capital accumulation; (b) is consistent with development, underdevelopment and miracle growth; (c) increases inequality in leading countries; (d) generates a transition path along which the interest rate diminishes if capital accumulates at a faster rate than technological change. Over the period 1980-2007, liberalization unleashed a wave of globalization, and the international sector experienced miracle growth. Profits rose to all time highs and global saving exceeded global investment. This savings glut or investment shortfall fueled a global housing appreciation, after which excessive risk in a deregulated financial market led to a financial meltdown. While restoring financial markets and reducing the housing market fallout are immediate priorities for the US, economic growth can only be recovered by restoring global investment. Lowering interest rates cannot generate very much investment, nor will consumption flows from fiscal spending. To stimulate the global economy, whole new economic sectors and technologies must be developed in advanced countries, and economic development deepened in underdeveloped countries. A global harmonization of taxes, which is eventually necessary anyway, is required to fund publicly provided goods, to balance incentives between local and international production, to reduce the polarization between developed and underdeveloped countries, to balance global markets with global governance, and to reinforce global cooperation. Developing the green energy sector is consistent with these aims.

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Paper provided by CIDE, División de Economía in its series Working papers with number DTE 467.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:emc:wpaper:dte467
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4458, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Peter Howitt & David Mayer-Foulkes, 2002. "R&D, Implementation and Stagnation: A Schumpeterian Theory of Convergence Clubs," NBER Working Papers 9104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dani Rodrik, 2007. "Introductiion to One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth
    [One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  4. Howitt, Peter & Mayer-Foulkes, David & Aghion, Philippe, 2005. "The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence," Scholarly Articles 4481509, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Weyzig, Francis & Van Dijk, Michiel, 2008. "Tax Haven and Development Partner: Incoherence in Dutch Government Policies," MPRA Paper 12526, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Chris Papageorgiou & Subir Lall & Florence Jaumotte, 2008. "Rising Income Inequality; Technology, o+L3904r Trade and Financial Globalization?," IMF Working Papers 08/185, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Peter C. Dawson & Stephen M. Miller, 2009. "International Transfer Pricing for Goods and Intangible Asset Licenses in a Decentralized Multinational Corporation: Review and Extensions," Working Papers 0901, University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics.
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