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US Business Cycles from 1971-2010: A Post Keynesian Explanation

Author

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  • John Harvey

    () (Department of Economics, Texas Christian University)

Abstract

Curiously and in spite of its name, very few business cycle theories actually treat it as a cycle. Mainstream economics, for example, models all macroeconomic fluctuations as a function of exogenous forces. In their view, the economy remains at full employment indefinitely unless impacted by some external event. Post Keynesian economists disagree strongly with this characterization, arguing instead that business-cycle fluctuations are endogenously generated. The goal of this paper is to compare the explanatory power of four business cycle models–three mainstream and one Post Keynesian–for the US economy since 1971. While the test employed is a simple one, the results are very clear: no model’s performance comes even close to that of the one based on Keynes’ seventy-year old analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • John Harvey, 2010. "US Business Cycles from 1971-2010: A Post Keynesian Explanation," Working Papers 201004, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcu:wpaper:201004
    as

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    File URL: http://www.econ.tcu.edu/RePEc/tcu/wpaper/wp10-04.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Plosser, Charles I, 1989. "Understanding Real Business Cycles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 51-77, Summer.
    2. Victoria Chick, 1983. "Macroeconomics after Keynes: A Reconsideration of the General Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530457, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    business cycle; Keynes; Post Keynesian;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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