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A theory of economic policy lock-in and lock-out via hysteresis: Rethinking economists' approach to economic policy

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  • Palley, Thomas I.

Abstract

This paper explores lock-in and lock-out via economic policy. It argues policy decisions may near-irrevocably change the economy's structure, thereby changing its performance. That causes changed economic outcomes concerning distribution of wealth, income and power, which in turn induces locked-in changes in political outcomes. That is a different way of thinking about policy compared to conventional macroeconomic stabilization theory. The latter treats policy as a dial which is dialed up or down, depending on the economy's state. Lock-in policy is illustrated by the euro, globalization, and the neoliberal policy experiment.

Suggested Citation

  • Palley, Thomas I., 2016. "A theory of economic policy lock-in and lock-out via hysteresis: Rethinking economists' approach to economic policy," Economics Discussion Papers 2016-50, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201650
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D. Rodrik., 2015. "When Ideas Trump Interests: Preferences, Worldviews, and Policy Innovations," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
    2. Thomas I. Palley, 1993. "Uncertainty, Expectations, and The Future: If We Don’t Know the Answers, What Are the Questions?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 3-18, September.
    3. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Economics versus Politics: Pitfalls of Policy Advice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 173-192, Spring.
    5. R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
    6. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    7. Bassi, Federico & Lang, Dany, 2016. "Investment hysteresis and potential output: A post-Keynesian–Kaleckian agent-based approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 35-49.
    8. Palley,Thomas I., 2013. "From Financial Crisis to Stagnation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107612464.
    9. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Hysteresis in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 288-295.
    10. Avinash Dixit, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-228.
    11. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    12. Setterfield, Mark, 1997. "'History versus Equilibrium' and the Theory of Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 365-378, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Palley, 2018. "Recovering Keynesian Phillips curve theory," FMM Working Paper 26-2018, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    2. Steven Fazzari & Piero Ferri & AnnaMaria Variato, 2018. "Demand-led growth and accommodating supply," FMM Working Paper 15-2018, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic policy; lock-in; hysteresis; globalization; euro; neoliberalism;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy

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