Social Conflict and Macroeconomics: What Determines the Effectiveness of Aggregate Demand Policies?
This paper examines the role of social conflict in explaining macroeconomic phenomena and, especially, the effectiveness of aggregate demand policies as a means of raising real output. The social conflict approach to macroeconomic phenomena is compared with a Keynesian view along with Ball, Mankiw and Romer’s (1988) and Lucas’ (1973) models of the determinants of the effectiveness of aggregate demand policies (or the slope of the Phillips curve). Empirical analysis over the period from the 1950s to the 1990s for 15 OECD countries provides significant evidence that the social conflict view of inflation has much to offer in explaining differences in the effectiveness of aggregate demand policies both across countries and through time.
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