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Debt, Deleveraging and the Liquidity Trap

Author

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  • Paul Krugman

    (Princeton)

  • Gauti B. Eggertsson

    (NY Fed)

Abstract

In this paper we present a simple New Keynesian-style model of debt-driven slumps -- that is, situations in which an overhang of debt on the part of some agents, who are forced into rapid deleveraging, is depressing aggregate demand. Making some agents debt-constrained is a surprisingly powerful assumption: Fisherian debt deflation, the possibility of a liquidity trap, the paradox of thrift, a Keynesiantype multiplier, and a rationale for expansionary fiscal policy all emerge naturally from the model. We argue that this approach sheds considerable light both on current economic difficulties and on historical episodes, including Japan's lost decade (now in its 18th year) and the Great Depression itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Krugman & Gauti B. Eggertsson, 2011. "Debt, Deleveraging and the Liquidity Trap," 2011 Meeting Papers 1166, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    7. Paul Krugman, 1999. "Balance Sheets, the Transfer Problem, and Financial Crises," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(4), pages 459-472, November.
    8. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    9. Aghion, Philippe & Bacchetta, Philippe & Banerjee, Abhijit, 2001. "Currency crises and monetary policy in an economy with credit constraints," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 1121-1150.
    10. Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Monetary Policy in a World without Money," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 229-260, July.
    11. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 14-31.
    12. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, pages 139-235.
    13. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Slacalek, Jiri & Sommer, Martin & Carroll, Christopher, 2012. "Dissecting saving dynamics: measuring wealth, precautionary and credit effects," Working Paper Series 1474, European Central Bank.
    2. Belke Ansgar & Kronen Dominik & Osowski Thomas, 2015. "Planned Fiscal Consolidations and Growth Forecast Errors – New Panel Evidence on Fiscal Multipliers," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, pages 47-70.
    3. repec:eee:dyncon:v:81:y:2017:i:c:p:115-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Christopher Carroll & Martin Sommer & Jiri Slacalek, 2012. "Dissecting Saving Dynamics; Measuring Wealth, Precautionary, and Credit Effects," IMF Working Papers 12/219, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Proaño, Christian R. & Schoder, Christian & Semmler, Willi, 2014. "Financial stress, sovereign debt and economic activity in industrialized countries: Evidence from dynamic threshold regressions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, pages 17-37.
    6. Belke Ansgar & Kronen Dominik & Osowski Thomas, 2015. "Planned Fiscal Consolidations and Growth Forecast Errors – New Panel Evidence on Fiscal Multipliers," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, pages 47-70.
    7. Neil Bhutta, 2012. "Mortgage debt and household deleveraging: accounting for the decline in mortgage debt using consumer credit record data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Bernd Fitzenberger & Benjamin Fuchs, 2017. "The Residency Discount for Rents in Germany and the Tenancy Law Reform Act 2001: Evidence from Quantile Regressions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 18(2), pages 212-236, May.
    9. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "Clashing Theories of Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 17179, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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