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Aggregate Demand, Inequality and Instability

Piero Ferri, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Bergamo, Italy
This book studies the relationships between aggregate demand, inequality and instability. It extends the traditional approach by introducing wealth and inequality into a dynamic macroeconomic model. Furthermore, it examines the role that debt and financial instability can play in turbulent times such as the Great Recession and its aftermath. Unlike Piketty, the author analyses the relationships between instability and inequality, and the feedbacks from the latter to the former, in a system approach where real and monetary factors interact to generate complex patterns.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $99.95 Web: $89.95
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78643 304 6
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Post-Keynesian Economics
This book studies the relationships between aggregate demand, inequality and instability. It extends the traditional approach by introducing wealth and inequality into a dynamic macroeconomic model. Furthermore, it examines the role that debt and financial instability can play in turbulent times such as the Great Recession and its aftermath.

Unlike Piketty, the author analyses the relationships between instability and inequality, and the feedbacks from the latter to the former, in a system approach where real and monetary factors interact to generate complex patterns. The book does not discover ‘iron laws’ because the results depend on the nature of the model, the values of the parameters and the policy pursued. However, the role of inequality is proven to play a decisive role in shaping dynamics. Finally, the author discusses the link between medium and long-run problems, and the challenges that remain to be faced.

Piero Ferri’s original application of economic principles to the topic of inequality will make this book essential reading for all economists, particularly those of a macro orientation.
‘Piero Ferri is one of the most sophisticated economists with a firm grasp of the economic methodologies necessary to understand our complex and unstable economies, which he has studied for many years. He now adds to his modelling of Minsky processes, studies of income inequality that highlight and illuminate the key issues that bother us today. This book is essential reading for the professional economist.’
– Jan Toporowski, SOAS, University of London, UK



Contents: 1. Introduction PART I: Basic Concepts 2. Piketty’s Contribution 3. Measurement 4. Inequality and Aggregate Demand PART II: Endogenous Dynamics and Instability 5. Aggregate Demand, Growth and Instability 6. Wealth, Public Debt and Instability 7. Recursive Workhorses PART III: The Macro Inference of Inequality 8. Rent, Wealth and Bubbles 9. A Model with Heterogeneous Supply 10. Wealth and Capital Gains in Financial Markets PART IV: Inequality, Finance and Instability 11. Inequality and the Financial Instability Hypothesis 12. Instability in a Regime Switching Model PART V: Concluding Remarks 13. A Summary 14. The Challenges Index