The Emergence of Debt and Secular Stagnation in an unequal Society: A stock-flow consistent agent-based Approach
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EAEPE Annual Conference
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We use an agent-based stock-flow consistent model of a closed economy without technological change that considers different classes of households, status consumption and a Minskyan banking sector to analyze the relationship between rising saving rates, the accumulation and distribution of private financial wealth and the evolution of public debt. Conducting a series of experiments, we find evidence for Keynes' famous claim that a rise in the propensity to save will not necessarily be matched by a rise in the propensity to invest, culminating in either chronic government deficits or consistently high unemployment rates if the government refuses to accept those deficits. The result emerges endogeneously from the interaction of fully decentralized agents.
The model indicates that promoting consumer credit can at best provide a very short-lived relief to this problem.