nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2020‒02‒17
four papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. Gender and Precarious Work in the United States: Evidence from the Contingent Work Supplement 1995-2017 By Randy Albelda; Aimee Bell-Pasht; Charalampos Konstantinidis
  2. "Greece: In Search of Investors" By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Michalis Nikiforos; Gennaro Zezza
  3. Why 60 and 3 percent? European debt and deficit rules - critique and alternatives By Jan Priewe

  1. By: Randy Albelda; Aimee Bell-Pasht; Charalampos Konstantinidis
    Abstract: A central element of the neoliberal phase of capitalism is the flexibilization of labor and the consequent prevalence of precarious work. Here, we discuss flexibilization, develop a definition and measure of precarious work using the Contingent Work Survey (CWS) supplement to the Current Population Survey, and examine the gender composition of precarious work in the United States. We find that gender and racial hierarchies persist in precarious jobs over the 1995-2017 period. Women — and women with children in particular – are overrepresented in precarious jobs compared to men. Our findings call for a consideration of the impact of the changing nature of work on different groups of workers, and a renewed role for policy to ensure equitable terms of social reproduction.
    Keywords: precarious work, gender, flexibilization, contingent work
    JEL: B54 J21 J40 J82 P16
    Date: 2019–09
  2. By: Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Michalis Nikiforos; Gennaro Zezza
    Abstract: 2019 marked the third year of the continuing economic recovery in Greece, with real GDP and employment rising, albeit at modest rates. In this Strategic Analysis we note that the expansion has mainly been driven by net exports, with tourism playing a dominant role. However, household consumption and investment are still too far below their precrisis levels, and a stronger and sustainable recovery should target these components of domestic demand as well. Fiscal austerity imposed on the Greek government has achieved its target in terms of public finances, such that some fiscal space is now available to stimulate the economy. Our simulations for the 2019-21 period show that under current conditions the economy is likely to continue on a path of modest growth, and that the amount of private investment needed for a stronger recovery is unlikely to materialize.
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Jan Priewe
    Abstract: The 60 percent debt cap and the 3 percent deficit cap, enshrined in the EU Treaties since 1992, are cornerstones of the complex fiscal policy framework of the Euro area. Both numbers came into the Maastricht Treaty more or less by coincidence. There is no sound economic justification for the caps, in particular for the 60 percent debt cap if combined with the 3 percent deficit limit. The taboo of not questioning them in debates about reforming the EU fiscal framework prevents innovative thinking. We analyse attempts to explain or justify both caps by the EU Commission and compare them with other propositions from the IMF and in academia. The rules entail a bias for contractionary policy, thus dampening growth and employment, especially since the Fiscal Compact (2011). This becomes best visible if the debt and deficit dynamics in the EMU are compared with the U.S. The paper pleads for a thorough reconsideration of the EU fiscal policy rulebook in face of a fundamental change in the relationship of interest and growth rates, a key determinant of public debt. The deficit rule should allow for a more effective counter-cyclicality and for more fiscal space for public investment. Furthermore, high-debt countries in EMU should have the option to carry their legacy debt over a longer period to avoid growth-dampening austerity.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy, public debt, Stability and Growth Pact, Fiscal Compact, austerity Schuldenbremse, Stabilitäts- und Wachstumspakt, Fiskalpakt, Defizitregeln, Austerität, Staatsverschuldung
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Thierry Suchère (EDEHN - Equipe d'Economie Le Havre Normandie - ULH - Université Le Havre Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)
    Abstract: Contemporary of shareholder capitalism, the movie Wall-Street [1987] by Oliver Stone inaugurates a long list of recent movies which proposes a critical look to finance. We think of these other movies: The Wolf of Wall Street [2013] of Martin Scorsese, The Big Short [2015] of Adam McKay… In France, L'Outsider [2016] deals with a story largely told by the media: that of Jérôme Kerviel ex trader and a former employee of La Société Générale. Analyzing this movie, we shall show that it contains a good illustration of trader's work in the world of finance with several teachings. First of all, the movie questions speeches on the rationality of the actors. We see: i) traders who mobilize questionable means as technical analysis to help them in their decisions; ii) an activity on the market generating of stress evacuated by childish collective behaviors. We understand that there is a high risk for traders of switching into pathological behavior such as those observed in the case of gambling addicts. At a second level, the film speaks of a violation of the rules of good practices, deviation of behavior common among traders using illegal means to make more money.... Deviance is approached as a sociological theme. It is a collective activity considering the management systems implemented by the bank to push the traders to the performance at least as guilty as the traders themselves.
    Abstract: Contemporain du capitalisme actionnarial, le film Wall-Street [1987] d'Oliver Stone inaugure une longue liste de films récents porteurs d'un regard critique sur la finance. On pense à ces autres films que sont Le Loup de Wall Street [2013] de Martin Scorsese, The Big Short : le casse du siècle [2015] d'Adam McKay… En France, L'Outsider [2016] traite d'une histoire amplement relayée par les médias : celle de Jérôme Kerviel ex trader de la Société Générale. Analysant ce film, on montrera que nous disposons là d'une bonne illustration de ce qui fait le travail des traders dans l'univers de la finance avec plusieurs enseignements. En premier lieu, le film conteste le discours des économistes mainstream sur la rationalité des acteurs. On y voit (i) des traders qui mobilisent des techniques controversées du type analyse de graphe pour les aider dans leur décision ; (ii) une activité sur le marché génératrice du stress important et qu'on évacue par des comportements de groupe digne de potache. A l'extrême, on comprend que le trading comporte un risque non-nul de basculement vers des comportements pathologiques du type de ceux qui s'observent chez les addicts aux jeux d'argent. A un second niveau, le film parle de la violation des règles de bonne conduite, d'écart de comportement courant chez les traders toujours obligé de se surpasser… Les sociologues voient dans la déviance une activité collective ce qui nous amène à considérer des systèmes de management mis en place par la banque pour pousser les traders à la performance qui sont autant coupables que les traders eux-mêmes.
    Date: 2019

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