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Income Distribution, Consumer Debt, and Keeping Up with the Joneses: a Kaldor-Minsky-Veblen Model

Author

Listed:
  • Yun Kim

    () (Department of Economics, Trinity College)

  • Soon Ryoo

    () (Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics, Adelphi University)

Abstract

We extend Kaldor’s theory of income distribution to include workers’ debt accumulation and their motive to emulate rentiers’ consumption. Our results show that (i) the interaction between income distribution and emulation can produce instability, (ii) instability is more likely when the workers’ emulation motive is strong and bankers’ lending decisions are highly accommodating, and (iii) a plausible assumption on the nonlinearity of emulation behavior can generate a limit cycle by way of the Poincare- Bendixson theorem. Our analysis provides an alternative perspective on the secular increase in household indebtedness for the decades and the subsequent deleveraging process in the recent crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Yun Kim & Soon Ryoo, 2013. "Income Distribution, Consumer Debt, and Keeping Up with the Joneses: a Kaldor-Minsky-Veblen Model," Working Papers 1302, Trinity College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tri:wpaper:1302
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    File URL: http://internet2.trincoll.edu/repec/WorkingPapers2013/WP13-02.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lance Taylor & Stephen A. O'Connell, 1985. "A Minsky Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 871-885.
    2. Alan G. Isaac & Yun K. Kim, 2013. "Consumer and Corporate Debt: A Neo- K aleckian Synthesis," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 244-271, May.
    3. Kara, A. & Marques-Ibanez, D. & Ongena, S., 2011. "Securitization and Lending Standards : Evidence from the Wholesale Loan Market," Discussion Paper 2011-081, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Samuel Bowles & Yongjin Park, 2005. "Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours: Was Thorsten Veblen Right?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 397-412, November.
    5. Ryoo, Soon, 2010. "Long waves and short cycles in a model of endogenous financial fragility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 163-186, June.
    6. Matteo Iacoviello, 2008. "Household Debt and Income Inequality, 1963-2003," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 929-965, August.
    7. Cynamon Barry Z. & Fazzari Steven M., 2008. "Household Debt in the Consumer Age: Source of Growth--Risk of Collapse," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-32, October.
    8. Bayoumi, Tamim, 1993. "Financial Deregulation and Household Saving," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(421), pages 1432-1443, November.
    9. Enrichetta Ravina, 2005. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Evidence from Micro Data," 2005 Meeting Papers 557, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. F. H. Hahn, 1951. "The Share Of Wages In The National Income," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 147-157.
    11. Amitava Krishna Dutt, 2006. "Maturity, Stagnation And Consumer Debt: A Steindlian Approach," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 339-364, July.
    12. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2010. "Unequal We Stand: An Empirical Analysis of Economic Inequality in the United States: 1967-2006," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 15-51, January.
    13. Dirk Krueger & Fabrizio Perri, 2006. "Does Income Inequality Lead to Consumption Inequality? Evidence and Theory -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 163-193.
    14. Skott,Peter, 2008. "Conflict and Effective Demand in Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521066310, Fall.
    15. Amitava Krishna Dutt, 2008. "The Dependence Effect, Consumption and Happiness: Galbraith Revisited," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 527-550.
    16. Thomas I. Palley, 2009. "Inside Debt and Economic Growth: A Cambridge - Kaleckian Analysis," IMK Working Paper 02-2009, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    17. Matthieu Charpe & Peter Flaschel & Christian R. Proaño, 2012. "Income Distribution, Credit Rationing And Households' Debt," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 458-492, July.
    18. Benjamin J. Keys & Tanmoy Mukherjee & Amit Seru & Vikrant Vig, 2010. "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 307-362.
    19. Aldo Barba & Massimo Pivetti, 2009. "Rising household debt: Its causes and macroeconomic implications--a long-period analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 113-137, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0509 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mathias Klein & Christopher Krause, 2014. "Income Redistribution, Consumer Credit,and Keeping up with the Riches," Ruhr Economic Papers 0509, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income distribution; consumer debt; emulation; instability; limit cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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