Working Paper Roundup 4/15/2014

Michael Stephens | April 15, 2014

Minsky and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: The Financial Instability Hypothesis in the Era of Financialization
Eugenio Caverzasi
“The aim of this paper is to develop a structural explanation of the subprime mortgage crisis, grounded on the combination of two apparently incompatible financial theories: the financial instability hypothesis by Hyman P. Minsky and the theory of capital market inflation by Jan Toporowski. …
… we firmly reject the idea that ‘black swans’ or exogenous shocks of any type might have caused the crisis. We believe that the pathogens which led to the crisis were congenital to U.S. capitalism and that the bursting in the mortgage market happened for specific reasons. This is what is meant in this paper by ‘structural interpretation’: the identification and the understanding of the endogenous forces which made the U.S. economy progressively reach an unsustainable financial position, making the crisis an inescapable event.”

Growth with Unused Capacity and Endogenous Depreciation
Fabrizio Patriarca and Claudio Sardoni
“This paper contributes to the debate on income growth and distribution from a nonmainstream perspective. It looks, in particular, at the role that the degree of capacity utilization plays in the process of growth of an economy that is not perfectly competitive. The distinctive feature of the model presented in the paper is the hypothesis that the rate of capital depreciation is an increasing function of the degree of capacity utilization. This hypothesis implies analytical results that differ somewhat from those yielded by other Kaleckian models. Our model shows that, in a number of cases, the process of growth can be profit-led rather than wage-led. The model also determines the value to which the degree of capacity utilization converges in the long run.”

Structural Asymmetries at the Roots of the Eurozone Crisis: What’s New for Industrial Policy in the EU?
Alberto Botta
“In this paper, we analyze and try to measure productive and technological asymmetries between central and peripheral economies in the eurozone. We assess the effects such asymmetries would likely bring about on center–periphery divergence/convergence patterns, and derive some implications as to the design of future industrial policy at the European level. … All in all, future EU industrial policy should be much more interventionist than it currently is, and dispose of much larger funds with respect to the present setting in order to effectively pursue both short-run stabilization and long-run development goals.”

Quality of Statistical Match and Employment Simulations Used in the Estimation of the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty (LIMTIP) for South Korea, 2009 *
Thomas Masterson
“The quality of match of the statistical match used in the LIMTIP estimates for South Korea in 2009 is described. The match combines the 2009 Korean Time Use Survey (KTUS 2009) with the 2009 Korean Welfare Panel Study (KWPS 2009). The alignment of the two datasets is examined, after which various aspects of the match quality are described. The match is of high quality, given the nature of the source datasets. The method used to simulate employment response to availability of jobs in the situation in which child-care subsidies are available is described. Comparisons of the donor and recipient groups for each of three stages of hot-deck statistical matching are presented. The resulting distribution of jobs, earnings, usual hours of paid employment, household production hours, and use of child-care services are compared to the distribution in the donor pools. The results do not appear to be anomalous, which is the best that can be said of the results of such a procedure.”
* Related: Time Deficits and Hidden Poverty in Korea (pdf) Kijong Kim, Thomas Masterson, and Ajit Zacharias

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