Jean-Paul Fitoussi und Joseph Stiglitz zu „Was hat die Einkommensverteilung mit der Krise zu tun?“ – BEIGEWUM

Jean-Paul Fitoussi und Joseph Stiglitz zu „Was hat die Einkommensverteilung mit der Krise zu tun?“

am 13. August 2009 um 22:22h

Jean-Paul Fitoussi, einer der bekanntesten Ökonom/inn/en Frankreichs und Direktor des OFCE, und Joseph Stiglitz, einer der weltweit bekanntesten Ökonom/inn/en, „Ökonomienobelpreis-träger“ und ehemaliger Chefökonom der Weltbank, argumentieren in ihrem Aufsatz „The Ways Out of the Crisis and the Building of a More Cohesive World“ (http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/pdf/dtravail/WP2009-17.pdf), die aktuelle Weltwirtschaftskrise habe ihre Ursache in der seit den 1980er Jahren ungleicher werdenden Einkommensverteilung.

 

Laut Fitoussi und Stiglitz stagnieren die Medianlöhne in den meisten industrialisierten Ländern, sowie weiten Teilen der restlichen Welt. Einkommen wurde zu Gunsten der oberen Schichten umverteilt. Da Bezieher/innen niedriger Einkommen eine höhere Konsumneigung aufweisen, hat die Einkommensumverteilung einen Nachfrage dämpfenden Effekt. Um die entstandene Nachfrage-schwäche zu kompensieren sank in den USA die Sparquote und die Verschuldung wurde ausgeweitet. In den europäischen Ländern führte die zunehmende Einkommenskonzentration hingegen zu niedrigem Wachstum und einem Anstieg der Sparquoten; hinzu kam eine restriktive Geld- und Fiskalpolitik. Zusammen mit anderen Regionen der Welt, die vor allem aus Angst vor Währungskrisen ihre Devisenreserven deutlich ausweiteten, trug Europa zur Finanzierung der steigenden Verschuldung in den USA bei. Temporär konnte auf diesem Weg die Nachfrage-schwäche überbrückt werden.

 

Hier im Originalwortlaut:

“The crisis has structural roots. The aggregate demand deficiency preceded the financial crisis and was due to structural changes in income distribution. Since 1980, in most advanced countries the median wage has stagnated and inequalities have surged in favour of high incomes. This is part of a broader process which has also affected several parts of the developing world. This trend has many causes, including asymmetric globalization (with greater liberalization of capital than of labour markets), deficiencies in corporate governance and a breakdown of the egalitarian social conventions that had emerged after WWII. As the propensity to consume out of low incomes is generally larger, this long-term trend in income redistribution by itself would have had the macroeconomic effect of depressing aggregate demand.

In the US the compression of low incomes was compensated by the reduction of household savings and by mounting indebtedness that allowed spending patterns to be kept virtually unchanged. At the same time, the limited safety nets forced the government to pursue active macroeconomic policies to fight unemployment, increasing government debt as well. Thus, growth was maintained at the price of increasing public and private indebtedness.

Most European countries tread a different path. The redistribution to higher incomes resulted in an increase in national savings and depressed growth. In the past fifteen years the institutional setting, notably the deficit constraints embedded in the Maastricht criteria and in the Stability and Growth Pact, resulted in low reactivity of fiscal policies and restrictive monetary policy. Together with a financial sector less prone to innovation, this limited consumer borrowing. The shift in distribution resulted in soft growth.

These two paths were mutually reinforcing because the savings from the EU zone contributed to the financing of US borrowing, along with surpluses of other regions which for different reasons – essentially to insure themselves against macroeconomic instability caused by Balance of Payments crises and the subsequent loss of sovereignty due to the intervention of IFIs – also experienced high savings rates (notably East Asia and Middle Eastern oil producing countries). Thus, the combination of structural disequilibria that goes by the name of global imbalances resulted in a fragile equilibrium that temporarily solved the aggregate

demand problem on a global scale at the expense of future growth. An important component of this fragile equilibrium was lax monetary policy. In effect without a continuously expansionary monetary policy aggregate demand deficiency would have affected economic activity. In a way monetary policy was endogenous to the structural disequilibrium in income distribution.” (Fitoussi/Stiglitz 2009, S. 3-4)

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  1. Simon Sturn am 14.August 2009 um 14:12h

    Auch lesenswert: Fitoussi im FTD-Interview

    http://www.ftd.de/wirtschaftswunder/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=1939&blogId=10


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