Paradox Squared

Mainstream economists and the mainstream media continue to embrace John Maynard Keynes’ notion of the “paradox of thrift.” While most economists subscribe to the view that the pace of long-run economic growth is a function of productivity and thrift (saving), short-run growth can be retarded by too much thrift.

Mainstream economists and the mainstream media continue to embrace John Maynard Keynes’ notion of the “paradox of thrift.” While most economists subscribe to the view that the pace of long-run economic growth is a function of productivity and thrift (saving), short-run growth can be retarded by too much thrift. According to this view, if households in the aggregate decide to cut back on their current spending, i.e., save more, aggregate economic demand will be negatively affected. Hence, the paradox of thrift. A little later in this commentary, I will try to dispel the notion that thrift retards growth in aggregate demand in the short run.

 

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