nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2022‒03‒21
five papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
Western New England University

  1. Rethinking capacity utilization choice: the role of surrogate inventory and entry deterrence By Thomas I. Palley
  2. The post-Keynesian "crowding-in" policy meme: Government-Led Semi-Autonomous Demand growth By Brett Fiebinger
  3. Whatever happened to the 'Goodwin pattern'? By Mark Setterfield
  4. Aux Ouvrières!: socialist feminism in the Paris Commune By Muldoon, James; Müller, Mirjam; Leipold, Bruno
  5. The Economic Effects of the English Parliamentary Enclosures By Leander Heldring; James A. Robinson; Sebastian Vollmer

  1. By: Thomas I. Palley
    Abstract: This paper presents a macroeconomics-friendly Post Keynesian model of the firm describing both an inventory theoretic approach and an entry deterrence approach to choice of excess capacity. The model explains why firms may rationally choose to have excess capacity. It also shows the two approaches are complementary and reinforcing of each other. Analytically, the paper makes three principal contributions. First, it provides a simple framework for understanding the microeconomics of capacity utilization choice. Second, it reframes the Post Keynesian discussion of capacity utilization by making excess capacity choice the key to understanding normal capacity utilization. Third, it implicitly challenges Neo-Kaleckian wage-led growth theory as the model shows choice of the optimal excess capacity rate is independent of the level of demand.
    Keywords: Capacity utilization, excess capacity, surrogate inventory, entry deterrence, wage-led growth
    JEL: D21 D24 E12
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Brett Fiebinger
    Abstract: A recent literature has explored the role of semi-autonomous demand growth. This paper builds on the literature by incorporating a Lernerian government semi-autonomous demand function and an endogenous supply-side. Our main purpose is threefold. First, we wish to contribute to the case for crowding-in effects, especially in the long-run. Second, we confirm the Keynesian/Kaleckian pedigree of the capital stock adjustment principle. Third, we contrast core post-Keynesian ideas on demand-led supply-side endogeneity with the alternative neo-Marxian neo-Harrodian proposition of an exogenously-given natural growth rate, and find the latter lacking.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy, Crowding-in, Semi-autonomous demand, Capital stock adjustment principle
    JEL: B22 B50 E11 E20 E60 O42
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Mark Setterfield (New School for Social Research)
    Abstract: The 'Goodwin pattern' - an anti-clockwise rotation in real activity x wage share space recurring at intervals that correspond roughly to the duration of business cycles - is an enduring feature of high-frequency dynamics in capitalist economies. It is well known that the centre or focus of this rotation shifts over time. More recently, however, the Goodwin pattern seems to have broken down, the wage share no longer increasing as the real economy improves over the course of short-term booms. In this paper, the breakdown of the Goodwin pattern is associated with the consolidation of an `incomes policy based on fear' that is part-and-parcel of neoliberalism. As a result of this incomes policy based on fear, the institutional structure of the labour market disciplines labour at any rate of unemployment. This decouples wage-share dynamics from the state of the real economy, with the result that as recently witnessed, the wage share is rendered invariant to tightening of the labour market in the course of short-term cyclical booms.
    Keywords: Goodwin pattern, distributional conflict, worker insecurity, incomes policy based on fear
    JEL: E11 E12 E25 E64
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Muldoon, James; Müller, Mirjam; Leipold, Bruno
    Abstract: Feminist and socialist movements both aim at emancipation yet have often been at odds. The socialist feminists of the Paris Commune provide one of the few examples in late nineteenth-century Europe of a political movement combining the two. This article offers a new interpretation of the Commune feminists, focusing on the working-class women’s organisation the Union des femmes. We highlight how the Commune feminists articulated the specific form of oppression experienced by working-class women as both women and workers, which consequently required a joint, yet differentiated, struggle to overcome. We explore three aspects of this framework. First, the Commune feminists offered a vision of the transformation of the social through reforms to girls’ education, the family and women’s work. Second, they practised a politics of coalition building by connecting their struggle with those of other oppressed groups, such as male workers, peasants and workers of other nations. Third, these ideas were instantiated in the Union des femmes’ novel proposal for women’s worker co-operatives as part of a socialist re-organisation of the economy.
    Keywords: commune feminism; feminism; France; Paris Commune; socialism; socialist feminism
    JEL: B14 B24 P2 P3
    Date: 2022–01–31
  5. By: Leander Heldring; James A. Robinson; Sebastian Vollmer
    Abstract: We use a dataset of the entire population of English Parliamentary enclosure acts between 1750 and 1830 to provide the first causal evidence of their impact. Exploiting a feature of the Parliamentary process that produced such legislation as a source of exogenous variation, we show that Parliamentary enclosures were associated with significantly higher crop yields, but also higher land inequality. Our results are in line with a literature going back to Arthur Young and Karl Marx on the effects of Parliamentary enclosure on productivity and inequality. They do not support the argument that informal systems of governance or “private orderings”, even in small, cohesive, and stable communities, were able to efficiently allocate commonly used and governed resources.
    JEL: D01 N5 O43
    Date: 2022–02

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