KrugmanMultiplier

KrugmanMultiplier - A Dark Age of macroeconomics (wonkish)...

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JANUARY 27, 2009, 9:40 AM A Dark Age of macroeconomics (wonkish) Brad DeLong is upset about the stuff coming out of Chicago these days — and understandably so. First Eugene Fama , now John Cochrane , have made the claim that debt-financed government spending necessarily crowds out an equal amount of private spending, even if the economy is depressed — and they claim this not as an empirical result, not as the prediction of some model, but as the ineluctable implication of an accounting identity. There has been a tendency, on the part of other economists, to try to provide cover — to claim that Fama and Cochrane said something more sophisticated than they did. But if you read the original essays, there’s no ambiguity — it’s pure Say’s Law, pure “Treasury view”, in each case. Here’s Fama: The problem is simple: bailouts and stimulus plans are funded by issuing more government debt. (The money must come from somewhere!) The added debt absorbs savings that would otherwise go to private investment. In the end, despite the existence of idle resources, bailouts and stimulus plans do not add to current resources in use. They just move resources from one use to another. And here’s Cochrane: First, if money is not going to be printed, it has to come from somewhere. If the government borrows a dollar from you, that is a dollar that you do not spend, or that you do not lend to a company to spend on
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2009 for the course ECON 102 taught by Professor Serra during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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KrugmanMultiplier - A Dark Age of macroeconomics (wonkish)...

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