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Multiplier Effect

Multiplier Effect is the blog of The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, an economics research organization. The posts focus on economic policy in the United States and the rest of the world, prompting a reasoned discussion on current issues.

Popular topics: Global economic policy.

Podcast on Gender Budgeting

Michael Stephens | June 18, 2021 Research Associate Lekha Chakraborty, recently chosen to join the governing council of the International Institute for Public Finance, was interviewed for an Onmanorama podcast on the question of gender budgeting and the advantages of centering care work. Chakraborty argues policymakers in India should prioritize integrating a comprehensive care economy policy package in macroeconomic...

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The Minsky Conference Returns

Participants Lakshman Achuthan, Cofounder, Economic Cycle Research Institute Binyamin Appelbaum, Editorial Board Member, New York Times Robert Barbera, Director, J.H.U. Center for Financial Economics; Economics Department Fellow, The Johns Hopkins University Peter Coy, Economics Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek Charles Evans, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Jason Furman, Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy, Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Department of...

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Direct Job Creation in Greece

Michael Stephens | April 28, 2021 Senior Scholar Rania Antonopoulos recently participated in a webinar for the European Trade Union Institute, during which she discussed the rationale behind and experience with the implementation of the “Kinofelis” direct job creation program—a limited job guarantee for Greece. Watch her presentation below (accompanying slides are here). The Levy Institute’s previous Strategic Analysis for...

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The “Thing” with Job Guarantee Programs…

In a February 18th front page article in the business section of the New York Times, Eduardo Porter surveys the potential for a job guarantee program. After starting with the caveat issued by Republican politicians—why trust your life choices to bureaucrats?—the piece goes on to present opinions of various experts on employment programs. It is noteworthy that even among the specialists, not one has ever been involved in actual fieldwork or research in the various experiments with job...

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The IMF as Deficit Owl? What’s Wrong with This Argument?

It seems the IMF aviary has turned on the hawks and embraced the deficit owls. Has the IMF joined the policy shift to MMT? Yes, in part, but it appears to be a viral form of MMT: according to Vitor Gaspar, the IMF’s head of fiscal policy, “Nations’ first priority should be vaccination, while the reduction of public debt is now far down the list of urgent actions… the main role of fiscal policy in the immediate future should be to be stimulative, to help restore economic growth, reduce...

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Jiu-Jitsu Comes to the Stock Market

The core philosophy of this Japanese defensive art used by the weak against the stronger Samurai is to mobilize the opponent’s greater force to your own advantage. Many have criticized the run-up in the quotation of the GameStop shares as a violation of market principles or regulations. Far from it, it simply represents the fact that day traders may be dumb money, but they have understood how to apply jiu-jitsu. If the intent was simply to profit from trading the stock, no retail trader...

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Why “Output Gap” Is Inadequate

by Lekha Chakraborty and Amandeep Kaur[1] The macroeconomic uncertainty during the Covid-19 pandemic is hard to measure. Economists and policymakers use the “output gap” variable to capture “slack.” It is a deviation between potential output and actual output, which is a standard representation of a “cycle.” The potential output is an unobserved variable. There is an increasing concern about the way we measure potential output—decomposing the output into trends and cycles. This is...

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Increasing Diversity in Economics Is Not Only a Moral Obligation

November 3rd, 2019, I delivered remarks on the closing panel of The New School/UMASS Amherst Graduate workshop held in New York City. The panel theme was “Broadening the boundaries of political economy”. I have since graduated and successfully gone through the job market. I hope my remarks from last year can serve as encouragement for fellow female, black, African-American, Latinx, and ethnic minority economic students, as well as all students in the field who have ever felt...

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The Pandemic, “Flexible” Work, and Household Labor in Brazil (Interview)

[The following is an interview by Paula Quental of Lygia Sabbag Fares, one of my coauthors for this post on how home quarantine has impacted domestic violence. The interview originally appeared in Portuguese and is posted here with permission.] Labor market deregulation is bad for all workers and even more perverse for women, says economist. According to Lygia Sabbag Fares, a specialist in Labor Economics and Gender Studies, labor reform is a way for the powerful to transfer the burden...

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The Reserve Bank’s Pandemic Predicament

by Lekha Chakraborty and Harikrishnan S As the Reserve Bank of India Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das puts it upfront, these are extraordinary times, and we need to respond with “whatever it takes” to deal with the pandemic. Over the past few days, our hope for systematically “flattening the curve” by containing the COVID-19 pandemic and moving to a quick V-shaped or U-shaped recovery is waning[i]. Evidence is increasingly pointing towards the situation worsening to a dual crisis — a...

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