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Weaknesses of 'wage-led growth'

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  • Skott, Peter

    () (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Abstract

The emphasis in post-Keynesian macroeconomics on wage-versus profit-led growth may not have been helpful. The profit share is not an exogenous variable, and the correlations between the profit share and economic growth can be positive for some exogenous shocks but negative for others. The terminology, second, suggests a unidirectional causality from distribution to aggregate demand while in fact distribution can itself be directly affected by shifts in aggregate demand. The reduced form correlations,third, depend on interactions with the labor market, and a focus on the goods market can be misleading. If, fourth, empirical estimates are taken at face value, the support for wage-led conclusions is much weaker than suggested by the literature. A focus on the growth-benefits of a reduction in inequality, finally, makes for an impoverished policy discussion.

Suggested Citation

  • Skott, Peter, 2016. "Weaknesses of 'wage-led growth'," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2016-08, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2016-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas I. Palley, 2014. "Rethinking wage vs. profit-led growth theory with implications for policy analysis," IMK Working Paper 141-2014, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Soon Ryoo & Peter Skott, 2013. "Public debt and full employment in a stock-flow consistent model of a corporate economy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 511-528.
    3. Soon Ryoo, 2016. "Inequality of Income and Wealth in the Long Run: A Kaldorian Perspective," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 429-457, May.
    4. Peter Flaschel & Peter Skott, 2006. "Steindlian Models Of Growth And Stagnation," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 303-338, July.
    5. Ekkehart Schlicht, 2006. "Public Debt As Private Wealth: Some Equilibrium Considerations," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 494-520, November.
    6. Peter Skott, 2012. "Theoretical And Empirical Shortcomings Of The Kaleckian Investment Function," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 109-138, February.
    7. Soon Ryoo & Peter Skott, 2008. "Financialization in Kaleckian Economies with and without Labor Constraints," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 357-386.
    8. Peter Skott, 2014. "Pluralism, the Lucas Critique, and the Integration of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 503-515, October.
    9. Peter Skott & Frederick Guy, 2013. "Power, Luck and Ideology – Technological and Institutional Parameters of the Agency Problem for CEOs," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 45(3), pages 323-332, September.
    10. Rudiger von Arnim & Jose Barrales, 2015. "Demand-driven Goodwin cycles with Kaldorian and Kaleckian features," Review of Keynesian Economics, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 351-373, July.
    11. Peter Skott & Soon Ryoo, 2008. "Macroeconomic implications of financialisation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(6), pages 827-862, November.
    12. Hiroaki Sasaki & Ryunosuke Sonoda & Shinya Fujita, 2013. "International Competition and Distributive Class Conflict in an Open Economy Kaleckian Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 683-715, November.
    13. Marc Lavoie, 1992. "Foundations of Post-Keynesian Economic Analysis," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 275.
    14. Dutt, Amitava Krishna, 1984. "Stagnation, Income Distribution and Monopoly Power," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 25-40, March.
    15. Engelbert Stockhammer & Özlem Onaran & Stefan Ederer, 2009. "Functional income distribution and aggregate demand in the Euro area," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 139-159, January.
    16. Skott,Peter, 2008. "Conflict and Effective Demand in Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521066310, October.
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    19. Blecker, Robert A, 1989. "International Competition, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 395-412, September.
    20. Eckhard Hein & Lena Vogel, 2008. "Distribution and growth reconsidered: empirical results for six OECD countries," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 479-511, May.
    21. Engelbert Stockhammer & Robert Stehrer, 2011. "Goodwin or Kalecki in Demand? Functional Income Distribution and Aggregate Demand in the Short Run," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 43(4), pages 506-522, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:elg:ejeepi:v:14:y:2017:i:2:p131-172 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eckhard Hein, 2017. "Post-Keynesian macroeconomics since the mid 1990s: main developments," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 14(2), pages 131-172, September.
    3. Jochen Hartwig, 2018. "Wachstumsfolgen von Einkommensungleichheit – Theorie, empirische Evidenz und Politikempfehlungen," Chemnitz Economic Papers 020, Department of Economics, Chemnitz University of Technology.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    investment; saving; income distribution; Lucas critique; Marglin-Bhaduri model;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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