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Minsky and the Mainstream: Has Recent Research Rediscovered Financial Keynesianism

  • Steven M. Fazzari

    (Washington University in St. Louis)

Hyman Minsky's research emphasized the central role of finance in modern economies at a time when finance was not important in most mainstream macroeconomic research. But in the 1980s, mainstream research began to explore the role of finance in firm and consumer behavior. This paper examines the extent to which this recent mainstream research captures Minsky's insights and whether it extends his work. I argue that recent work on micro foundations—the link between economic behavior and finance—complements Minsky's contributions and corresponding empirical research provides strong support for his argument that financial conditions affect expenditure. But large differences remain between Minsky and the mainstream paradigm, especially in the role played by the financial system in macroeconomic fluctuations. Furthermore, there is much in Minsky's Big Government–Big Bank policy framework that does not appear in recent mainstream work.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0004025.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 06 Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004025
Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 16; figures: included
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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  2. Steven M. Fazzari & Anna Maria Variato, 1994. "Asymmetric Information and Keynesian Theories of Investment," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 16(3), pages 351-369, April.
  3. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 2000. "Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Are Useful: A Comment On Kaplan And Zingales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 695-705, May.
  4. Steven M. Fazzari & Piero Ferri & Edward Greenberg, 1998. "Aggregate Demand and Firm Behavior: A New Perspective on Keynesian Microfoundations," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 20(4), pages 527-558, July.
  5. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1998. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 193-225, March.
  6. Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1993. "Working Capital and Fixed Investment: New Evidence on Financing Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(3), pages 328-342, Autumn.
  7. Steven M. Fazzari & Piero Ferri & Edward Greenberg, 1999. "Aggregate Demand and Micro Behavior: A New Perspective on Keynesian Macroeconomics," Macroeconomics 9902005, EconWPA.
  8. Mark L. Gertler, 1988. "Financial Structure and Aggregate Economic Activity: An Overview," NBER Working Papers 2559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kaplan, Steven N & Zingales, Luigi, 1997. "Do Investment-Cash Flow Sensitivities Provide Useful Measures of Financing Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 169-215, February.
  10. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1988. "Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 2534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," NBER Working Papers 5146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jorgenson, Dale W, 1971. "Econometric Studies of Investment Behavior: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 1111-47, December.
  13. James R. Crotty, 1996. "Is New Keynesian Investment Theory Really "Keynesian"? Reflections on Fazzari and Variato," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 18(3), pages 333-357, April.
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