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Inflationary and Distributional Effects of Alternative Fiscal Policies: An Augmented Minskyan-Kaleckian Model

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  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva

Abstract

This paper augments the basic Post-Keynesian markup model to examine the effects of different fiscal policies on prices and income distribution. This is an approach a la Hyman P. Minsky, who argued that in the modern era, government is both "a blessing and a curse," since it stabilizes profits and output by imparting an inflationary bias to the economy, but without stabilizing the economy at or near full employment. To build on these insights, the paper considers several distinct functions of government: 1) government as an income provider, 2) as an employer, and 3) as a buyer of goods and services. The inflationary and distributional effects of each of these fiscal policies differ considerably. First, the paper examines the effects of income transfers to individuals and firms (in the form of unemployment insurance and investment subsidies, respectively). Next, it considers government as an employer of workers (direct job creation) and as a buyer of goods and services (indirect job creation). Finally, it modifies the basic theoretical model to incorporate fiscal policy a la Minsky and John Maynard Keynes, where the government ensures full employment through direct job creation of all of the unemployed unable to find private sector work, irrespective of the phase of the business cycle. The paper specifically models Minsky's proposal for government as the employer of last resort (ELR), but the findings would apply to any universal direct job creation plan of similar design. The paper derives a fundamental price equation for a full-employment economy with government. The model presents a "price rule" for government spending that ensures that the ELR is not a source of inflation. Indeed, the fundamental equation illustrates that in the presence of such a price rule, at full employment inflationary effects are observed from sources other than the public sector employment program.

Suggested Citation

  • Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2012. "Inflationary and Distributional Effects of Alternative Fiscal Policies: An Augmented Minskyan-Kaleckian Model," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_706, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_706
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    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_706.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luigi Cannari & Leandro D'Aurizio & Guido de Blasio, 2007. "The Effectiveness of Investment Subsidies: Evidence from Survey Data," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 329-346.
    2. L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Modern Money," Macroeconomics 9810002, EconWPA.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pavlina R. Tcherneva, 2012. "Full Employment through Social Entrepreneurship: The Nonprofit Model for Implementing a Job Guarantee," Economics Policy Note Archive 12-02, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Greg Hannsgen, 2014. "Fiscal Policy, Chartal Money, Mark-up Dynamics and Unemployment Insurance in a Model of Growth and Distribution," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 487-523, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Minsky; Kalecki Model; Alternative Fiscal Polices; Income Transfers; Investment Subsidies; Direct Job Creation; Employer of Last Resort; Inflation; Income Distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • 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
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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