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The Relevance of Kalecki for Financial Capitalism of the 2020s

Jerzy Osiatyński

Review of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 32, issue 4, 589-595

Abstract: The paper focuses on four critical differences between capitalism of the Keynes-Kalecki times and the present-day financial capitalism. The first follows from the wholesale globalisation and liberalisation of financial and capital markets which drastically changed the nature of political opposition against full employment. The second results from changes in income and wealth distribution and in access to basic public services like health, education, and social security. The third is the evolution of the Schumpeterian entrepreneurial innovators to financial rent-seekers and speculators. The fourth relates to the question whether economic dynamics and business fluctuations are of Kaleckian nature, i.e. resulting from the feedback between the income generating effect, and the productive capacity augmenting effect, of private investment in fixed capital, or are they of Minskian financial instability nature. And if the latter is true, what is the room for any countercyclical policy that Keynes and Kalecki recommended. The essay ends with the question on how to include the Minskian financial instability of the present-day capitalism into Kalecki's canonical profit equation on which his theory of economic dynamics and business fluctuations is founded.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2020.1840044

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