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'New Consensus,' New Keynesianism, and the Economics of the 'Third Way'


  • Philip Arestis
  • Malcolm Sawyer


In this paper we seek first to set out the economic analysis that underpins the ideas of what has been termed the "third way." The explicit mention of the "third way" is much diminished since the early days of the Blair government in the UK and the Schroeder government in Germany. We argue that the ideas associated with the "third way" continue to influence these governments and, more broadly, other governments and the European Union, and that these ideas are firmly embedded in New Keynesian economics. Our paper then focuses on some particular aspects of New Keynesian economics and its emphasis on the role of monetary policy and the downgrading of fiscal policy. There has emerged a so-called "new consensus" on macroeconomic policy (specifically, monetary policy), which we regard as an outgrowth of New Keynesian economics. We review this "new consensus" and argue that the empirical evidence on the operation of monetary policy reveals that such a policy is rather impotent. Insofar as it does have an effect, it operates to influence the level of investment, which in turn affects the future level and distribution of productive capacity. Thus, contrary to the prevailing view, monetary policy is not an effective way to control inflation, but it can have effects on the real side of the economy. The lack of attention to fiscal policy and the overemphasis on monetary policy leaves the European Union and its member countries without the means to tackle any serious recession or upsurge of inflation.

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  • Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2002. "'New Consensus,' New Keynesianism, and the Economics of the 'Third Way'," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_364, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_364

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2002. "Can Monetary Policy Affect The Real Economy?," Macroeconomics 0209012, EconWPA.
    2. Laidler, David, 1999. "The Quantity of Money and Monetary Policy," Staff Working Papers 99-5, Bank of Canada.
    3. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Mark Watson, 1997. "Systematic Monetary Policy and the Effects of Oil Price Shocks," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 91-157.
    4. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1996. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-15, February.
    5. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    6. Laurence H. Meyer, 2001. "Does money matter?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 1-16.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
    8. Scott Hendry, 1995. "Long-Run Demand for M1," Macroeconomics 9511001, EconWPA.
    9. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    10. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2006. "The nature and role of monetary policy when money is endogenous," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(6), pages 847-860, November.
    11. Arestis, Philip & Howells, Peter, 1996. "Theoretical Reflections on Endogenous Money: The Problem with 'Convenience Lending.'," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 539-551, September.
    12. Heinz-Peter Spahn, 2001. "On the theory of interest rate policy," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 54(219), pages 355-380.
    13. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Monetary policy analysis in models without money," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 145-164.
    14. Philip Arestis & Malcolm Sawyer, 2002. "The Bank of England Macroeconomic Model: Its Nature and Implications," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 529-545, July.
    15. Cottrell, Allin, 1994. "Post-Keynesian Monetary Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(6), pages 587-605, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eckhard Hein & Thorsten Schulten & Achim Truger, 2004. "Wage trends and deflation risks in Germany and Europe," Macroeconomics 0412008, EconWPA.
    2. Engelbert Stockhammer, 2008. "Is The Nairu Theory A Monetarist, New Keynesian, Post Keynesian Or A Marxist Theory?," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 479-510, July.
    3. Claudio H. Dos Santos, 2004. "A Stock-Flow Consistent General Framework for Minskyan Analysis of Closed Economics," Macroeconomics 0402028, EconWPA.
    4. Hein, Eckhard, 2003. "Die NAIRU: Eine post-keynesianische Interpretation," WSI Working Papers 113, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.

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