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ISSN 2632-9611

WP514: Resurrecting the UK Sector National Accounts after 1945

Bill Martin

Building on the methodology explained in Martin (2009), this paper sets itself the task of backcasting the UK national sectoral accounts before 1987, the date prior to which fully comprehensive data are not provided by the Office for National Statistics. Backcast data cover the private, government and overseas sectors. Innovations compared with the earlier paper include the extension of the dataset to begin in 1946 rather than 1948, and, more importantly, an attempt to backcast financial balances for the household and corporate sectors. This attempt involves the backcasting of pension saving before 1963 and of major components of the household and corporate capital account before 1987. The household and corporate sector data are likely subject to greater measurement error than estimates for more aggregate sector balances, as shown in Martin (2009) and provisionally upheld in this paper by simple tests of stability across different data vintages. Subject to further verification and improvements, now in prospect, in official historic data, the derived postwar sectoral estimates may nevertheless enable more robust testing of a variety of long-run macroeconomic hypotheses.

WP513: Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy: A Comment

Robert Rowthorn

In an influential article, Delong and Summers (2012) consider the implications of hysteresis for government debt. They derive an upper limit for the after-tax real interest rate. If the interest rate is below this limit, the debt incurred during a one-off fiscal stimulus will be automatically repaid without the need for higher taxes. Their analysis assumes that a one-off stimulus leaves an infinite legacy of future benefits (hysteresis effects) that increase through time. This note extends their analysis to situations where hysteresis effects remain constant or decay in the course of time. By highlighting the hysteresis time profile, it provides a more transparent treatment of debt dynamics.

WP512: Keynesian Economics – Back from the Dead? The Godley-Tobin Lecture

Robert Rowthorn

This paper surveys some the main developments in macroeconomics since the anti-Keynesian counter-revolution 40 years ago. It covers both mainstream and heterodox economics. Amongst the topics discussed are: New Keynesian economics, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), expansionary fiscal contraction, unconventional monetary policy, the Phillips curve, and hysteresis. The conclusion is that Keynesian economics is alive and well, and that there has been a degree of convergence between heterodox and mainstream economics.

WP511: Fiduciary – Asymmetrical Power, Asymmetrical Care

Helen Mussell

The legal concept of fiduciary plays a fundamental role in all financial and business organisations. It acts as a moral safeguard of the relationship between trustee and beneficiary, ensuring that the beneficiaries’ best interests are met. It is often referred to as a duty of care. Originally formulated within familial law to protect property put into Trust, beneficiaries were women and children, allocated passive and subordinated roles. This paper investigates two aspects of the asymmetrical power relations central to the fiduciary. Firstly it reveals the gendered presuppositions regarding male and female agential capabilities on which the fiduciary is premised, drawing out the origins of the authority differential in the trustee-beneficiary relationship. Secondly, the paper engages with the ethical nature of the fiduciary relationship, arguing that Care Ethics offers a robust framework for explicating the history of the relationship, alongside delivering a morally-enhanced and future-fit fiduciary free of damaging gendered stereotypes.

Working paper (Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge. Online)