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Globalisation, Inequality and the Economic Crisis

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This article addresses the effects of inequality on the globalisation process. It is argued that the recent financial and economic crisis is a manifestation of a tendency of the aggregate demand to fall relatively to aggregate supply, generated by an asymmetric income distribution, which in turn both increases, and is reinforced by, the mobility of goods, capital and labour, in a process of cumulative causation. This process has not become manifest earlier due to counteracting tendencies generated by the financial system, that were disrupted during the crisis. It is also argued that mainstream economics does not have the adequate framework for explaining the crisis, and actually contributed to the crisis through its theories and policies. Hence an alternative economic framework is suggested for addressing the crisis, drawing upon the contributions of several heterodox economic traditions, especially post-Keynesianism.
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Keywords: Inequality; Keynes; Marx; aggregate demand; crisis; globalisation; heterodox economics; income distribution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculdade de Economia e Gestao, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Portugal

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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