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Increasing inequality and financial instability

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  • Peter Skott

    () (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

Rising inequality affects the composition of asset demands as well as aggregate demand. The poor have few financial assets and their portfolio is skewed towards fixed-income assets. The rich, by contrast, hold a large proportion of their wealth in stocks. Thus, an increase in inequality tends to raise the demand for stocks. This generates capital gains, and these gains can fuel a bubble, as desired portfolios shift further towards stocks. JEL Categories: E11, E21

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Skott, 2011. "Increasing inequality and financial instability," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-20, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2011-20
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    File URL: http://www.umass.edu/economics/publications/2011-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fabián Slonimczyk & Peter Skott, 2012. "Employment and Distribution Effects of the Minimum Wage," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2012-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    2. Eckhard Hein, 2008. "Financialisation in a comparative static, stock-flow consistent Post-Kaleckian distribution and growth model," IMK Working Paper 21-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    3. Palley, Thomas I., 2009. "America's exhausted paradigm: Macroeconomic causes of the financial crisis and great recession," IPE Working Papers 02/2009, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute for International Political Economy (IPE).
    4. 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.
    5. Thomas I. Palley, 2007. "Financialization: What It Is and Why It Matters," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_525, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. Skott, Peter & Guy, Frederick, 2007. "A model of power-biased technological change," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 124-131, April.
    7. Slonimczyk, Fabián & Skott, Peter, 2012. "Employment and distribution effects of the minimum wage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 245-264.
    8. Thomas I. Palley, 2007. "Financialization: What It Is and Why It Matters," Working Papers wp153, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    9. Gerald Epstein & Arjun Jayadev, 2007. "The Correlates of Rentier Returns in OECD Countries," Working Papers wp123, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    10. James Crotty, 2005. "The Neoliberal Paradox: The Impact of Destructive Product Market Competition and Impatient Finance on Nonfinancial Corporations in the Neoliberal Era," Research Briefs rb2003-5, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    11. Eckhard Hein, 2009. "‘Financialisation’ in a comparative static, stock-flow consistent post-kaleckian distribution and growth model," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, pages 120-139.
    12. Thomas I. Palley, 2008. "Financialization: What it is and Why it Matters," IMK Working Paper 04-2008, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    13. Kennickell, Arthur B & Starr-McCluer, Martha, 1997. "Retrospective Reporting of Household Wealth: Evidence from the 1983-1989 Survey of Consumer Finances," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 452-463, October.
    14. Skott, Peter, 1981. "On the 'Kaldorian' Saving Function," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 563-581.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bowles, Samuel & Hwang, Sung-Ha, 2008. "Social preferences and public economics: Mechanism design when social preferences depend on incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1811-1820, August.
    2. Ryoo, Soon, 2015. "Household debt and housing bubble: A Minskian approach to boom-bust cycles," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2015-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
    3. Soon Ryoo, 2016. "Household debt and housing bubbles: a Minskian approach to boom-bust cycles," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, pages 971-1006.
    4. Ayako Saiki & Jon Frost, 2014. "How does unconventional monetary policy affect inequality? Evidence from Japan," DNB Working Papers 423, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    5. Ayako Saiki & Jon Frost, 2014. "Does unconventional monetary policy affect inequality? Evidence from Japan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(36), pages 4445-4454, December.
    6. Peter Skott, 2011. "Heterodox macro after the crisis," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-23, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings inequality; portfolio composition; financial instability;

    JEL classification:

    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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