November 11, 2012

Intertwined real and monetary stochastic business cycles {36}

Working paper at SSRN

Abstract  There is no such thing as a ‘real’ economy. The task, therefore, is to consistently reconstruct the fluctuations of employment and output from the interactions of real and nominal variables. The present paper does exactly this. No nonempirical concepts like utility, equilibrium, rationality, decreasing returns or perfect competition are applied. The analysis runs rigorously in objective structural axiomatic terms. Therefrom follows that it is the factor cost ratio, i.e. the relation of the nominal variables wage rate and price and the real variable productivity that, for any given level of effective demand, drives the fluctuations of employment and output.

October 27, 2012

Make a bubble, take a free lunch, break a bank {35}

Working paper at SSRN

Abstract  Standard economics is known to be incapable of integrating the real and the monetary sphere. The ultimate reason is that the whole theoretical edifice is built upon a set of behavioral axioms. Therefore, the formal starting point is moved to structural axioms. This makes it possible to formally track the complete process of value creation and destruction in the asset market and its consequences for the household and business sector. From the set of structural axioms emerge the well-known phenomena of a bubble from free lunches through appreciation to defaults due to a lack of potential next buyers.

August 16, 2012

Keynes’ Employment Function and the Gratuitous Phillips Curve Disaster {34}

Keynes had many plausible things to say about unemployment and its causes. His ‘mercurial mind’, though, relied on intuition which means that he could not strictly prove his hypotheses. This explains why Keynes's ideas immediately invited bastardizations. One of them, the Phillips curve synthesis, turned out to be fatal. This paper identifies Keynes's undifferentiated employment function as a sore spot. It is replaced by the structural employment function that supersedes also the bastard Phillips curve. It will be demonstrated in a formal rigorous way why there is no trade-off between price inflation and unemployment. The structural Phillips curve predicts stagflation.

August 12, 2012

The common error of common sense: an essential rectification of the accounting approach {33}

Working paper at SSRN

Abstract  The present paper takes the explanatory superiority of the integrated monetary approach for granted. It will be demonstrated that the accounting approach could do even better provided it frees itself from theoretically ill-founded notions like GDP and other artifacts of the equilibrium approach. National accounting as such does not provide a model of the economy but is the numerical reflex of the underlying theory. It is this theory that will be scrutinized, rectified, and ultimately replaced in the following. The formal point of reference is ‘the integrated approach to credit, money, income, production, and wealth’ of Godley and Lavoie.

July 12, 2012

General formal foundations of the virtuous deficit/profit symmetry and the vicious debt deflation {32}

Working paper at SSRN

Abstract  A comprehensive dynamic model of the monetary economy that produces the key characteristics of debt deflation has been presented recently by Steve Keen as an alternative to conventional approaches. His model is based on a double-entry bookkeeping methodology but lacks an acceptable profit theory. In this respect, it is not different from familiar approaches. Clearly, a deficient profit theory prevents a proper understanding of how the real-world economy works. The present paper takes an entirely different route and places the core of Fisher's debt-deflation theory into the context of the consistent structural axiomatic approach.

June 13, 2012

Crisis and Methodology: Some Heterodox Misunderstandings {31}

Whether justified by the concrete circumstances or not, an economic crisis is, by simple association, taken as an implicit refutation of the invisible hand vision and the underlying theory. The fundamental heterodox critique locates the source of apparent theoretical difficulties at the level of methodology. Although acceptable in principle, this belief involves some actual misunderstandings with regard to the respective roles of deterministic laws and deductive reasoning. In order to clarify these, the present paper revisits some key episodes in the history of economic methodology.

May 15, 2012

Geometrical exposition of structural axiomatic economics (I): fundamentals {30}

Working paper at SSRN

Abstract  Behavioral assumptions are not solid enough to be eligible as first principles of theoretical economics. Hence all endeavors to lay the formal foundation on a new site and at a deeper level actually need no further vindication. Part (I) of the structural axiomatic analysis submits three nonbehavioral axioms as groundwork and applies them to the simplest possible case of the pure consumption economy. The geometrical analysis makes the interrelations between income, profit, employment, and money under the conditions of market-clearing and budget-balancing immediately evident.

March 2, 2012

Income Distribution, Profit, and Real Shares {27}

This paper clarifies first the nature and significance of monetary profit by applying the structural axiom set as a consistent point of departure. As a crucial result, the fundamental theorem of income distribution emerges. It states: profit is no factor income. Since the individual firm is blind to this structural fact it subjectively interprets profit as some kind of reward. As a matter of fact, firms do not ‘make’ profit, they only redistribute it among themselves. With profit consistently defined it is possible to determine the nominal and real shares of the elementary income categories wage income and distributed profit.

January 31, 2012

Taxes, profits, and employment: a structural axiomatic analysis {26}

Working paper at SSRN

Abstract  Standard economics is regarded as the theory of the market system. Profit is the pivotal phenomenon of this system. Contrary to expectations, though, profit is neither well defined nor fully understood. The frailty of the theoretical core is passed on to the subfields. This paper provides a consistent definition of profit and applies it to the analysis of the effects of the government sector's budget on employment and the profitability of the business sector. Since the formal point of departure is different from the standard approach it is quite natural that we arrive at new conclusions on some fundamental issues.