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After the Bust: The Outlook for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policy

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  • Thomas I. Palley

Abstract

"Change" was the buzzword of the Obama campaign, in response to a political agenda precipitated by financial turmoil and a global economic crisis. According to Research Associate Thomas Palley, the neoliberal economic policy paradigm underlying that agenda must itself change if there is to be a successful policy response to the crisis. Mainstream economic theory remains unreformed, says Palley, and he warns of a return to failed policies if a deep crisis is averted. Since Post Keynesians accurately predicted that the U.S. economy would implode from within, there is an opportunity for Post Keynesian economics to replace neoliberalism with a more successful approach. Palley notes that there is significant disagreement among economic paradigms about how to ensure full employment and shared prosperity. A salient feature of the neoliberal economy is the disconnect between wages and productivity growth. Workers are boxed in on all sides by globalization, labor market flexibility, inflation concerns, and a belief in “small government” that has eroded economic rights and government services. Financialization, the economic foundation of neoliberalism, serves the interests of financial markets and top management. Thus, reversing the neoliberal paradigm will require a policy agenda that addresses financialization and ensures that financial markets and firms are more closely aligned with the greater public interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas I. Palley, 2009. "After the Bust: The Outlook for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policy," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_97, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_97
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    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/ppb_97.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas I. Palley, 1997. "The Academic Jungle: Social Practice and the Survival of Economic Ideas," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 22-33, September.
    2. Michael P. Dooley & David Folkerts-Landau & Peter M. Garber, 2005. "An essay on the revived Bretton Woods system," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Feb.
    3. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    4. Alan S. Blinder & Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Understanding the Greenspan standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 11-96.
    5. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    6. Morris Goldstein & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2005. "China's Role in the Revived Bretton Woods System: A Case of Mistaken Identity," Working Paper Series WP05-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Setterfield, Mark, 2011. "Anticipations of the Crisis: On the Similarities between post-Keynesian Economics and Regulation Theory," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 10.
    2. Yun K. Kim & Mark Setterfield & Yuan Mei, 2014. "A theory of aggregate consumption," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 11(1), pages 31-49, April.
    3. Ioana Negru, 2013. "How reflexive have economists been in the wake of the crisis: 'The times they are a -changin'?," Working Papers PKWP1306, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    4. Özlem Onaran, 2009. "From the Crisis of Distribution to the Distribution of the Costs of the Crisis: What Can We Learn from Previous Crises about the Effects of the Financial Crisis on Labor Share?," Working Papers wp195, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    5. Atanas Leonidov, 2010. "Keynes and Keynesians," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 3-22.

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