Date of Award

9-2009

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Economics

First Advisor

Peter Skott, Chair

Second Advisor

James Crotty, Member

Third Advisor

James Heintz, Member

Subject Categories

Economics

Abstract

This dissertation consists of three independent essays. The first essay, “Long Waves and Short Cycles in a Model of Endogenous Financial Fragility,” presents a stock flow consistent macroeconomic model in which financial fragility in firm and household sectors evolves endogenously through the interaction between real and financial sectors. Changes in firms’ and households’ financial practices produce long waves. The Hopf bifurcation theorem is applied to clarify the conditions for the existence of limit cycles, and simulations illustrate stable limit cycles. The long waves are characterized by periodic economic crises following long expansions. Short cycles, generated by the interaction between effective demand and labor market dynamics, fluctuate around the long waves. The second essay,“Macroeconomic Implications of Financialization,” examines macroeconomic effects of changes in firms’ financial behavior (retention policy, equity financing, debt financing), and household saving and portfolio decisions using models that pay explicit attention to financial stock-flow relations. Unlike the first essay, the second essay focuses on the effects of financial change on steady growth path. The results are insensitive to the precise specification of household saving behavior but depend critically on the labor market assumptions (labor-constrained vs dual) and the specification of the investment function (Harrodian vs stagnationist). The last essay, “Finance, Sectoral Structure and the Big Push,” studies the role of finance in the presence of investment complementarities using a big push model. Due to complementarities between different investment projects, simultaneous industrialization of many sectors (big push) may be needed for an underdeveloped economy to escape from an underdevelopment trap. Such simultaneous industrialization requires costly coordination by a third party, such as the government. Some recent papers show that private banks with significant market power may also solve the problem of coordination failure. We show that private coordination may not work since even large private banks may find it more profitable to finance firms in the traditional sector than in the modern sector.

Included in

Economics Commons

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