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:The Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK)

The Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) is an independent academic institute within the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, a non-profit organisation fostering co-determination and promoting research and academic study. The Foundation is linked to the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB). The IMK was founded in 2005 to strengthen the macroeconomic perspective both in economic research and in the economic policy debate. The IMK analyses business cycle developments and conducts economic policy research, notably on fiscal and monetary policy, labour markets, income distribution and financial markets. The Institute seeks to address the challenges facing macroeconomics and economic policy in the wake of the global financial crisis.

8th International FMM Summer School

The summer school aims at providing an introduction to Keynesian macroeconomics and to the problems of European economic policies to interested graduate students (MA and PhD) and junior researchers. It will consist of overview lectures, a panel discussion, student study groups, an SFC lab, and a poster session.

25th FMM-Conference 2021

25th FMM Conference: Macroeconomics of Socio-Ecological Transition

Social inequalities, climate change and environmental pollution question the sustainability of capitalist modes of production, consumption and policies. Macroeconomists of both orthodox and heterodox traditions have long focussed on economic growth as the central means to development of the global South, prosperity and solution to distributional conflicts. We discussed what macroeconomists can contribute to this debate and learn from other fields.

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Current Publications

FMM Working Paper No. 78 : An Evaluation of neo-Kaleckian Supermultiplier and neo-Goodwinian Models: Pseudo-Goodwin Cycles, External Markets and Pro-Cyclical Labour Productivity

This paper provides a theoretical and empirical evaluation of neo-Kaleckian supermultiplier and neo-Goodwinian models. The benchmark structuralist and Harrodian neo-Goodwinian models posit a macro economy with only one asset: the capital stock. Demand leakages presuppose that at least one sector is able to realise an excess of revenues over expenditures as a positive accumulation of net financial assets vis-à-vis other sectors. Models with a single real asset – and which assume each sector always has nil net lending/borrowing – provide pseudo explanations of real world economic activity.

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FMM Working Paper No. 77 : Varieties of the rat race. Working hours in the age of abundance

We ask why working hours in the rich world have not declined more sharply or even risen at times since the early 1980s, despite a steady increase in productivity, and why they vary so much across rich countries. We use an internationally comparable database on working hours (Bick et al., 2019) and conduct panel data estimations for a sample of 17 European countries and the United States over the period 1983-2019. We find that high or increasing top-end income inequality, decentralized labor relations, and limited government provision of education and other in-kind services contribute to long working hours. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that upward-looking status comparisons in positional consumption (“Veblen effects”) contribute to a “rat race” of long working hours that is more or less pronounced in different varieties of capitalism.

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FMM Working Paper No. 76 : Theorizing varieties of capitalism: economics and the fallacy that “There is no alternative (TINA)”

The VoCs approach to capitalism has the potential to transform economics. It tacitly emphasizes the plasticity of economies, whereby their character and outcomes are significantly a matter of choice. This paper augments VoCs theory to include a distinction between varieties and varietals of capitalism. Drawing on biology, varieties correspond to species and varietals correspond to sub-species. The paper proposes an analytical framework that unifies VoCs theory. It adds a mesoeconomics that links macroeconomics and microeconomics. That mesoeconomics concerns the institutions, behavioral norms, rules and regulations, and policies that characterize the economy and influence its performance.

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FMM Working Paper No. 75 : Structural change in the US Phillips curve, 1948-2021: the role of power and institutions

This paper provides an institutional-analytical account of changes in the structure of the US Phillips curve (PC) during the post-war period. It does so by restoring conflict and power to the forefront of macro theory and, in particular, the wage- and price-setting behaviour of workers and firms. The resulting account is consistent with the main stylized facts that characterize the evolution of the US PC since 1948: the disappearance and subsequent reappearance of a ‘standard’ PC (relating the level of the inflation rate, not the change in this rate, to the rate of unemployment); and the flattening of the PC since the 1990s.

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FMM Working Paper No. 74 : Do higher public debt levels reduce economic growth?

While the effect of higher public debt levels on economic growth has received much attention, the literature partly points to contradictory results. This paper applies meta-regression methods to 826 estimates from 48 primary studies. The unweighted mean of the reported results suggests: a 10 percentage points increase in public-debt-to-GDP is associated with a decline in annual growth rates by 0.14 percentage points, with a 95% confidence interval from 0.10 to 0.18 percentage points. However, we cannot reject a zero effect after correcting for publication bias.

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Working Paper 212 (FMM Working Paper 70) : The Effect of Borrower-Specific Loan-to-Value Policies on Household Debt, Wealth Inequality and Consumption Volatility: An Agent-Based Analysis

This paper analyses the effects of borrower-specific credit constraints on macroeconomic outcomes in an agent-based housing market model, calibrated using U.K. household survey data. We apply different Loan-to-Value (LTV) caps for different types of agents: first-time-buyers, second and subsequent buyers, and buy-to-let investors. We then analyse the outcomes on household debt, wealth inequality and consumption volatility.

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