Aggregate Demand, Conflict, and Capacity in the Inflationary Process

Levy Economics Working Paper No. 391

28 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2003

See all articles by Philip Arestis

Philip Arestis

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy; Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)

Malcolm C. Sawyer

Levy Economics Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2003

Abstract

The dominant view relating to unemployment and inflation is that inflation will be constant at a level of unemployment (the nonaccelerating inflation rate of unemployment, NAIRU) determined on the supply side of the economy (and in the labor market in particular). Further, the economy will tend to converge to (or oscillate around) that level of unemployment. Moreover, demand variables or economic policy changes are thought to have no influence whatsoever on NAIRU. An alternative perspective on inflation would indicate that there would be no automatic forces leading to a level of aggregate demand consistent with constant inflation. Inflationary pressures would arise from, inter alia, a role of conflict over income shares, and from cost elements, with the price of raw materials, especially oil, being the most important. Insofar as there are supply-side factors impinging on the inflationary process, these would arise from the level of productive capacity (relative to aggregate demand) and from conflict over income shares. This paper focuses on the arguments and the evidence that supply-side constraints should be viewed as arising from capacity constraints, rather than from the operation of the labor market.

Keywords: capacity, conflict, aggregate demand, inflation

JEL Classification: E31, E22, J64

Suggested Citation

Arestis, Philip and Sawyer, Malcolm C., Aggregate Demand, Conflict, and Capacity in the Inflationary Process (September 2003). Levy Economics Working Paper No. 391. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=453980 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.453980

Philip Arestis (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)

Barrio Sarriena s/n
Leioa, Bizkaia 48940
Spain

Malcolm C. Sawyer

Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States
845-758-7700 (Phone)
845-758-1149 (Fax)

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