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Consumpton and Growth: Recovery and Structural Change in the U.S. Economy

Consumpton and Growth: Recovery and Structural Change in the U.S. Economy

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‘Here is a macroeconomic account of consumption based from the start on innovation and growth, by-passing decades of fruitless debate. Davide Gualerzi presents a new theoretical framework, the dynamics of “market creation”, and marshalls evidence for it from the US economy in the 1980s. This is a major contribution to the macroeconomics of structural change.’

- Ed Nell, New School for Social Research, New York

‘“The end of all production is consumption” said Adam Smith more than two centuries ago. In this book, Davide Gualerzi brushes aside all literature on static consumer preferences and proposes a dynamic, modern re-interpretation of Smith’s famous statement. Gualerzi marries a long run extension of Keynes’s principle of effective demand with Schumpeter’s insights into the driving forces of technological, market and organisational innovations. The resulting model of structural dynamics shows remarkable richness. The author carries out empirical tests for the US economy in the 1980s. This provocative book is good reading and a real challenge for all theorists of economic growth.’

- Luigi L. Pasinetti, Catholic University of Milan, Italy

‘This is a new approach to the problem of growth in industrial economies. It contributes a fresh perspective on the debates on growth theory by suggesting that the investigation of consumption patterns should be a central feature of the theoretical and empirical analyses of growth processes. The book also presents a view of the transformation in the US economy which started during the 1980s. We find here a systematic effort to examine the period from a theoretical perspective combining disaggregated empirical analysis with an analysis of stylised facts.’

- Neri Salvadori, University of Pisa, Italy

The theme of this book is the relationship between consumption and growth in the context of the long run theory of effective demand. Taking Schumpeter’s views on economic developmentas a starting point, the author proposes an original framework for the analysis of consumption patterns as an element of growth in advanced market economies. The book examines the role of demand with respect to the theory of structural change and the theory of consumption at both the micro and macro level. The theoretical framework is employed to analyze the consumption-growth relationship and its implications for the process of structural evolution.

The actual dynamics of consumption are examined interms of the cycle of expansion in the US economy during the 1980s. The author concludes that there is a distinct shift towards a pattern of ‘consumption deepening’ that explains the consumption fuelled recovery of the 1980s and mirrors a process of ‘intensive growth’ of the market. This interpretation sheds light on the underlying process sustaining US expansion during the 1990s and the questions facing advanced market economies which have begun to experience the emergence of an ‘Internet Scenario’ in terms of development.

In focusing on the relationship between consumption changes and the growth process, this book distinguishes itself from much of the literature on the subject which deals with these two aspects individually. Davide Gualerzi breaks genuinely new ground with his empirical and theoretical research. This book will appeal to economists interested in growth and economic development, scholars in related social sciences, and the wide base of economists and academics sympathetic to new approaches to the problem of economic growth.