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Secular Stagnation: Theory and Remedies

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  • Jean-Baptiste Michau

    (X-DEP-ECO - Département d'Économie de l'École Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique)

Abstract

This paper relies on a Ramsey model with money to o¤er a simple theory of secular stagnation. The permanent failure of the economy to produce at full capacity results from three features: (i) The combination of the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate and of an in ‡ation ceiling imposes a lower bound on the real interest rate; (ii) Some dynastic households have a high propensity to save, due to a preference for wealth; (iii) A downward wage rigidity breaks the de ‡ationary spiral resulting from the lack of demand. In this framework, I derive the paradox of ‡exibility, of thrift, and of toil. If the in ‡ation ceiling cannot be raised, then the government needs to rely on …scal policy to escape secular stagnation. However, a conventional …scal stimulus is not an e¢ cient response to a permanent liquidity trap, and can even be welfare reducing. The solution is instead to tax household wealth and to subsidize income from physical capital, through an investment subsidy or a reduction in the taxation of corporate income. This optimal policy is revenue neutral and implements the …rst-best allocation of resources. However, to avoid a jump in the price level upon implementation of the optimal policy, the government needs to redeem the money that had previously been supplied to …nance public de…cits.

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  • Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2015. "Secular Stagnation: Theory and Remedies," Working Papers hal-01211667, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01211667
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-polytechnique.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01211667
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Baptiste MICHAU, 2019. "The Preference for Net Wealth," Working Papers 2019-12, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    2. Illing, Gerhard & Ono, Yoshiyasu & Schlegl, Matthias, 2018. "Credit booms, debt overhang and secular stagnation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 78-104.
    3. Pablo A. Cuba-Borda & Sanjay R. Singh, 2019. "Understanding Persistent Stagnation," International Finance Discussion Papers 1243, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Yoshiyasu Ono, 2017. "Country Size, Specialization Patterns and Secular Demand Stagnation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6752, CESifo.
    5. Hashimoto, Ken-ichi & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 2020. "A simple aggregate demand analysis with dynamic optimization in a small open economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 89-99.
    6. Yoshiyasu Ono, 2018. "Macroeconomic Interdependence Between a Stagnant and a Fully Employed Country," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 450-477, December.
    7. Gianluca Benigno & Luca Fornaro, 2018. "Stagnation Traps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 1425-1470.
    8. Michaillat, Pascal & Saez, Emmanuel, 2014. "An economical business-cycle model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Pascal Michaillat & Emmanuel Saez, 2021. "Resolving New Keynesian Anomalies with Wealth in the Utility Function," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 197-215, May.
    10. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2021. "Understanding Secular Stagnation," Institut des Politiques Publiques hal-03321881, HAL.
    11. Di Bucchianico, Stefano, 2020. "Discussing Secular Stagnation: A case for freeing good ideas from theoretical constraints?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 288-297.
    12. Kaz Miyagiwa & Yoshiyasu Ono, 2019. "Immigration and Secular Stagnation," ISER Discussion Paper 1054, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    13. Bacchetta, Philippe & Benhima, Kenza & Kalantzis, Yannick, 2020. "Money and capital in a persistent liquidity trap," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 70-87.
    14. Hashimoto, Ken-ichi & Ono, Yoshiyasu & Schlegl, Matthias, 2020. "Structural unemployment, underemployment, and secular stagnation," ISER Discussion Paper 1088r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Mar 2021.
    15. Jean-Baptiste Michau & Yoshiyasu Ono & Matthias Schlegl, 2018. "Wealth Preference and Rational Bubbles," ISER Discussion Paper 1035, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    16. Ken-ichi Hashimoto & Yoshiyasu Ono & Matthias Schlegl, 2020. "Structural Unemployment, Underemployment, and Secular Stagnation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8318, CESifo.
    17. Michau, Jean-Baptiste, 2019. "Monetary and fiscal policy in a liquidity trap with inflation persistence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-28.
    18. Gilles Le Garrec & Vincent Touzé, 2016. "Capital accumulation and the dynamic of secular stagnation," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-17, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    19. Dennis Bonam, 2020. "A convenient truth: The convenience yield, low interest rates and implications for fiscal policy," DNB Working Papers 700, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    20. Masako Ikefuji & Yoshiyasu Ono, 2020. "Environmental policies in a stagnant economy," ISER Discussion Paper 1110, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    21. Murota, Ryu-ichiro, 2019. "Negative interest rate policy in a permanent liquidity trap," MPRA Paper 93498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Matthias Schlegl, 2018. "Secular Stagnation in an Economy with Land," ISER Discussion Paper 1032, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    23. Kaz Miyagiwa & Yoshiyasu Ono, 2019. "Immigration and Secular Stagnation," ISER Discussion Paper 1054r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Jun 2019.
    24. Isabel Cairó & Jae W. Sim, 2020. "Market Power, Inequality, and Financial Instability," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-057, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    25. Jean-Baptiste Michau, 2021. "Understanding Secular Stagnation," Post-Print hal-03321881, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Liquidity trap; Monetary and fiscal policy; Secular stagnation;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • 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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