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Socialization of Risks without Socialization of Investment: The Minsky Paradox and the Structural Contradiction of Big Government Capitalism


  • Minqi Li


A big government sector is indispensable for the normal operations of modern capitalist economy. However, the very success of the big government institutions encourages private investors to engage in excessive risk-taking activities, leading to growing financial fragility and frequent financial crises. The crises necessitate government interventions, forcing the government to run large deficits during recessions. These deficits, however, are not offset by surpluses during expansions. As a result, there is a tendency for the government debt to rise in relation to GDP. The government debt-GDP ratios cannot keep rising indefinitely. Beyond certain point, the debt-GDP ratio could be so high that the government’s ability to intervene with and stabilize the economy would be severely undermined. This may be characterized as the structural contradiction of big government capitalism.

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  • Minqi Li, 2009. "Socialization of Risks without Socialization of Investment: The Minsky Paradox and the Structural Contradiction of Big Government Capitalism," Working Papers wp205, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp205

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    Cited by:

    1. Minqi Li, 2013. "Socialism: the twentieth century and the twenty-first century," Chapters,in: Capitalism on Trial, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General

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