The Multiplier Model


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Investment and Government

China's building of the city of Ordos, a city with virtually no residents, can illustrate concepts from either economic development or fiscal policy. How would this expenditure of funds on an empty city make sense from the point of view of fiscal policy? The introduction in the video frames it as stimulus (fiscal) policy, but since it was begun five years earlier, does this framing make sense? How can prices be too high if there are few who actually live there? (There is background on the video here.)

This video is sample from a PBS documentary examining the battle of ideas in the Keynesian vs non-Keynesian debates in the 1960s and 1970s. In a few minutes it hits on several important ideas: the dominance of Keynesian thought in economics in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the intellectual atmosphere at the University of Chicago, efficiency and fairness, and whether market forces are something we must adapt to or we can control.

Here is an awesome video of Keynes and Hayek rapping about how they see the issue of booms and busts. You can find the printed lyrics at What does Keynes see as the cause of busts? What does he see as solutions? What does Hayek see as the cause of busts? What does he see as solutions?

These links were checked on Nov 15, 2009.
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Copyright Robert Schenk