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date: 25 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews and assesses the genesis and development of the Cambridge post-Keynesian school of income and wealth distribution, the foundations of which were laid in particular by Nicholas Kaldor, Richard Kahn, Luigi Pasinetti, and Geoffrey Harcourt from the middle 1950s onward. The focus of their analysis was to investigate the relationship between the steady-state rate of profits on the one hand, and the saving propensities of the socioeconomic classes and the growth rate of the economy on the other. During half-century and more about 200 scholars have published in this area no fewer than 500 scientific papers and book chapters, as well as thirty volumes. This post-Keynesian school of economic thought has gained a safe entry into the history of economic analysis. In order to evaluate this vast scientific literature this chapter has divided it into eight specific lines: (1) the introduction of a differentiated interest rate on the wealth of the classes; (2) the introduction of the monetary sector and of portfolio choice; (3) the introduction of the public sector, and the Ricardian debt/taxation equivalence; (4) the inclusion of other socioeconomic classes; (5) the introduction of microfoundations; (6) the analysis of the long-term distribution of wealth and of the income share of the socioeconomic classes; (7) the overlapping generation model and the intergenerational transmission of wealth; (8) other general aspects, in particular the applicability of the Meade-Samuelson and Modigliani Dual Theorem.

Keywords: income distribution, wealth distribution, post-Keynesian distribution theory, economic theory, macroeconomics, economic analysis

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