Working Paper n°2019-01 – Degrowth in a neo-Kaleckian model of growth and distribution? A theoretical compatibility and stability analysis – Antoine Monserand

Situated at the interface between post-Keynesian and ecological economics, this article investigates the theoretical possibilities for a degrowth transition to take place while preserving macroeconomic stability. More precisely, the objective is to find whether in a neo-Kaleckian model of growth and distribution an equilibrium with a zero or even negative rate of accumulation can coexist with the Keynesian stability condition being verified. Our results are threefold. First, we confirm that adding the rate of depreciation to the canonical model allows for such an equilibrium to exist, but argue in favor of considering animal spirits rather than the depreciation factor as a potential policy variable for the management of the degrowth transition. Second, other elements such as overhead labour, a tax on capital, an autonomous component in consumption expenditures and a budget deficit can all give this result and provide more ‘space’ for the equilibrium with a negative rate of accumulation. Finally, we use the mechanism of the Sraffian supermultiplier to illustrate that combined political action and adoption of a more ecological mode of living can be the drivers of a stable degrowth transition. After the transition is completed, the stabilisation of aggregate consumption maintains the economy in a stationary state, at an ecologically sustainable level.

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