Macroeconomic Foundations of Macroeconomics (Routledge by Alvaro Cencini

By Alvaro Cencini

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Extra info for Macroeconomic Foundations of Macroeconomics (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy), 1st Edition

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The settlement of commercial transactions between countries implies, in fact, the perfectly circular use of the money chosen as a means of payment. This is certainly true when commercial imports are covered by equivalent commercial exports, but applies also when a country balances its net commercial imports through a net export of financial claims. The determinant criterion here is that of ‘reciprocity’. If a transaction between two countries defines a reciprocal real exchange (goods and services against other goods and services or against financial assets), the money involved is used in a circular flow and no exchange rate fluctuation can derive from it.

It is not necessary to stress how far these assumptions are from reality and how little (if at all) they may help us to understand the world of economics. Criticized by Keynesian economists and praised by new classical economists, the rational expectations hypothesis is one of the most awkward subjects of recent economic debate. Even an economist as sensible to Keynes’s arguments as Vercelli is straight faced when claiming for its theoretical centrality. ‘Although the prevailing interpretation and use of rational expectations is very questionable, this hypothesis has shown a remarkable heuristic value and remains the first systematic attempt at studying endogenous formation of expectations without violating economic rationality’ (Vercelli 1991:240).

Another common feature of orthodox analyses is the widespread use of the price index as a standard of inflation. Yet, there are increases in market prices that simply lead to a new distribution of income without modifying money’s purchasing power, which clearly shows how unreliable it is to measure inflation by a persistent rise in microeconomic prices. The quantum theoretical approach to inflation implies a radical change with respect to traditional analysis. Starting from Keynes’s identity between global supply (S) and global demand (D), it is shown that a numerical difference between these two terms arises when capital accumulation and amortization are carried out within a system of payments in which no distinction is made between money, income, and fixed capital.

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