nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2007‒04‒09
four papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. Investment, Profits and Employment in Kalecki & Keynes By Robert Dixon
  2. Risk and Uncertainty in Central Bank Signals: An Analysis of MPC Minutes By Sheila Dow; Matthias Klaes; Alberto Montagnoli
  3. Marxian Insights from the Mainstream By Howard Petith
  4. The Rise of Democracy in Europe and the Fight Against Mass Poverty in Latin America: The Implications for Marxist Thought of Some Recent Mainstream Papers By Howard Petith

  1. By: Robert Dixon
    Abstract: This paper sets out my response to the articles by Paul Davidson in the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics in 2000 and 2002 dealing with the (supposed) superiority of Keynes’s explanation of the “ultimate cause” of unemployment over that of Kalecki. I show that there are a number of serious errors in Davidson’s explanation of Kalecki’s theories. I also argue that we would have less of this sort of nonsense if ‘post keynesians’ like Davidson were to recognize that, for Keynes as for Kalecki, aggregate demand shocks are profit shocks. In the final section of the paper I explain why it is that I none-the-less agree most emphatically with Davidson when he says that Kalecki and Keynes had quite different ideas on the ‘causes’ or ‘origins’ of (involuntary) unemployment in a capitalist economy.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Sheila Dow (Department of Economics, University of Stirling); Matthias Klaes (Keele University, Centre for Economic Research); Alberto Montagnoli (Department of Economics, University of Stirling)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the signal uncertainty implicit in the communications of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Unlike previous studies, which seek to construct a qualitative uncertainty index that heavily relies on subjective interpretations of key expressions, we limit ourselves to lexical frequencies of those expressions. We establish seasonality in the term 'risk' that coincides with Inflation Report publication dates, and matches what we identify as a surprising degree of prima facie seasonality in interest rate changes. Our findings suggest that frequencies of key terms expressing signal uncertainty in MPC minutes may either yield proxy measures to the amount of information at the disposal of the MPC, or offer evidence for the presence of an irreducible kind of signal uncertainty that shows up as white noise, casting doubt on the soundness of the various qualitative uncertainty indices found in the literature.
    Keywords: MPC, signal uncertainty, central bank uncertainty, word frequencies, uncertainty index, seasonality
    JEL: E52 E58 E12 D81
    Date: 2007–02
  3. By: Howard Petith
    Abstract: Starting in 1999 a group of papers have appeared in mainstream journals that treat of the relation between capitalism and democracy in an eminently Marxian fashion. These analyses bear on a number of papers published mainly in S&S, specifically those of Castañada, Ellman, Harnacker, Nimtz and Petras. This paper provides résumés of all of these works and then sets out the implications of the mainstream papers for the left wing ones. It concludes by emphasising the importance for the left of the mainstream results.
    Keywords: Marxism, Democracy
    JEL: E11 O52 O54 N46
    Date: 2007–03–20
  4. By: Howard Petith
    Abstract: Recently a number of mainstream papers have treated the rise of democracy in 19th century Europe and its instability in Latin America in an eminently Marxist fashion. This paper sets out their implications for Marxist thought. With respect to Europe, Marx's emphasis on political action backed by the threat of violence is vindicated but his justification for socialism is not. With respect to Latin America, the unequal distribution of wealth is the cause of political instability that is, in turn, the root cause of mass poverty. In addition it is possible to explain some of the paradoxical characteristics of neo-liberalism and to make a weak argument for socialism in spite of its rejection in Europe.
    Keywords: Marxism, Democracy, Europe, Latin America
    JEL: E11 O52 O54 N46

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