Monetary interest rates, income shares, and investment: Theory and empirical evidence for France, Germany, the UK, and the USA
Monetary analysis requires the introduction of monetary variables into the determination of the equilibrium values of real variables such as production, income, distribution, and accumulation. Contrary to Keynes's research program of a 'monetary theory of production', neither the older post-Keynesian models of growth and distribution (Kaldor, J. Robinson) nor the models based on the work by Kalecki and Steindl take account of monetary variables in a sufficient way. Starting from a Kaleckian effective demand model by Bhaduri & Marglin, the first part of this paper deals with the effects of an exogenous variation in the monetary interest rate on the real equilibrium position of the economic system. Different regimes of accumulation are derived and it is shown that a negative relation between the interest rate and the equilibrium rates of capacity utilisation, accumulation and profit usually expected in post-Keynesian theory only exists under special conditions. The second part of the paper applies the model to the data of some major OECD-countries and studies the effects of the monetary interest rate on distribution and investment within different regimes of accumulation, the 'golden age'- and the 'post-golden-age'-'social structure of accumulation'. This discussion also gives an explanation for stagnating capital formation and rising unemployment since the mid 1970s.
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