Working Papers

Please Note: The following research working papers are generally of a more in-depth and academic nature than the Reports and Policy Briefs that can be found in the Reports section of the website. We welcome feedback on these. CPEG contact information can be found in the Contact Us section of the website.

Labor and Occupy: Insights from Wisconsin

Mel Rothenberg | CPEG Working Paper 2012-3

Summary | First Presented during a Community Media Workshop entitled “The Great Wisconsin Resistance”, this working paper examines the role of contemporary trade unions in a revival of a mass political left versus their role as the center of a revived social movement.

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Neoclassical Economics is Immoral (with Workshop)

Ron Baiman | CPEG Working Paper 2012-2

Summary | This working paper argues that, though it pretends to be a value-free and objective “science”, Neoclassical economics is actually a thinly-veiled, blatantly immoral social system, and thus clearly an ideology rather than a school of thought that represents a reasonable and meaningful value-based “economic science”. The paper also includes an exercise called “Design Your Own Utopia”, a workshop developed by “radical” economics graduate students at the University of Massachusetts in the 1980’s but perhaps even more relevant today.

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Housing: The Root of it All

Bill Barclay | CPEG Working Paper 2012-1

Summary | Sometimes it seems as if the housing bubble, which was the trigger for the ongoing Long Depression, or as some call it, the Great Recession- has been forgotten. That is very unfortunate – both for the success of policies designed to restart the US economy, and for building a politics that could change the US political economy to benefit the 99% rather than the 1%. This paper examines the political economy of housing as the roots of the Long Depression.

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Unequal Exchange and the Rentier Economy

Ron Baiman | CPEG Working Paper 2011-3

Summary | The ability to generate income without producing real value-added output is a key characteristic of a “Rentier Economy”. The U.S. has since the mid-1970’s increasingly become such an economy. In this new CPEG Working paper, a schematic “Rentier Economy” is grafted onto a simple “Free Trade Unequal Exchange” model, which highlights the labor exchange, inequality, and efficiency characteristics of Rentier (U.S.), Unequal Exchange (German), and Developing Country (China), economies.

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Version published in forthcoming Review of Radical Political Economics special issue on full employment.

Eisenhower Era Income Tax Rates on the Upper 10% of Families Would Immediately Erase the Federal Deficit

Ron Baiman | CPEG Working Paper 2011-2

Summary | CPEG member Ron Baiman explains how tax increases on just the upper 10% of families, restoring their income to 1973 inflation adjusted levels, would immediately erase the federal deficit.

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Confronting The Jobs Crisis

Mel Rothenberg | CPEG Working Paper 2011-1

Summary | We argue that increasing effective demand via the traditional Keynesian stimuli is inadequate to resolve the job crisis in the U.S. Rather we need a radical restructuring of the job market that necessitates a national industrial policy.

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Version published in the Review of Black Political Economy, November 2011.

A Financial Transaction Tax: Revenue Potential and Economic Impact

Bill Barclay | CPEG Working Paper 2010-2

Summary | This paper focuses on the revenue raising potential and the economic impact of an Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), including a brief discussion of some of the counter arguments that opponents can be expected to make. The paper concludes with a few comments on the political appeal of the tax.

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Non-technical version published in Dissent Magazine, Summer 2010.

Toward a New Economy For the U.S.

Ron Baiman | CPEG Working Paper 2010-1

Summary | The U.S. economy faces a fundamental structural and institutional crises that requires major changes in economic policy and far reaching programs including a federally funded permanent living wage jobs program mostly funded through transactions taxes on finance, emergency measures to cap and gradually reduce the U.S. trade deficit, and a transparent and coherent Industrial Policy to increase high value added, competitive manufacturing exports. The goal should be to support non-predatory trade and industrial policies that move the U.S. and world economies toward sustainable and balanced trade and development.

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Version published in the Review of Radical Political Economics 42(3), September 2010.

A Permanent Jobs Program for the U.S.: Economic Restructuring to Meet Human Needs

Multiple Authors | CPEG Working Paper 2009-1

Summary | In response to the current economic crisis, the Chicago Political Economy Group (CPEG) proposes a National Jobs Program. The Program provides emergency help to the victims of the crisis. Even more importantly, however, it addresses the underlying structural problems of the real economy.  We have chosen a jobs program as our focus because we believe that a significant and sustained effort to expand long term employment is an essential part of any solution to our larger economic difficulties.

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Rentier-Based Finance-Led Macroeconomies: Keynesian or Classical in the Short-run, but Unsustainably Debt Dependent and Minskyan in the Long-run

Multiple Authors | CPEG Working Paper 2007-1

Summary | We construct a “Rentier-Based Finance-Led” (RBFL) macroeconomy by adding “outside debt” in the form of household real-estate home equity and consumer credit borrowing, government taxing and spending, and exports and imports, to an “inside debt” closed (national economy) Post-Keynesian macro model developed by Lavoie and Godley (2000) and reformulated by Taylor (2004), and combine it with an explicitly class-based finance-led growth model developed by Boyer (2000). We then largely apply Taylor’s line of analysis in an attempt to incorporate recent trends in the U.S. economy. We find that to the extent that the U.S. economy has become an RBFL economy, it is in danger of becoming a “Minskyan” macroeconomy that is dependent on unsustainable long-run debt accumulation.

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