The Job Guarantee and Modern Money Theory: Realizing Keynes's Labor Standard

The Job Guarantee and Modern Money Theory: Realizing Keynes's Labor Standard

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The Job Guarantee and Modern Money Theory: Realizing Keynes's Labor Standard by Michael J. Murray

The contributors to this edited collection argue that a flexible Job Guarantee program able to react to an economy’s fluctuating need for work would stabilize the labor standard, the value of employment in relation to money. During economic downturns, the program would expand to provide more public sector jobs in response to private sector layoffs. It would then contract when economic growth offered private sector employment opportunities. This flexible full employment program would create a balanced, perpetually active labor force, providing the macroeconomic stability necessary to define a functioning labor standard.

Just as the gold standard measured the worth of money against gold reserves, John Maynard Keynes argued, so a labor standard ought to measure the value of money in terms of its labor equivalent. However, he failed to account for the fact that, unlike a gold standard, a labor standard does not have any kind of surety that money will continue to match its value in paid work over time. Together, the contributors argue that full employment would provide this missing security and allow authorities to define the value equivalencies of money and labor, the way that money once represented its exact equivalent in gold.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783319835228
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 06/08/2018
Series: Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 228
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael J. Murray is Associate Professor of Economics at Bemidji State University, USA, and a Research Scholar at the Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity. He co-edits the American Review of Political Economy and is co-editor of four volumes on the job guarantee. Murray's research focuses on public policies targeting the dual problems of unemployment and poverty. He also studies production theory, structural and technological change, and its impacts on employment.

Mathew Forstater is Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA; Research Director at the Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity; and Research Associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, USA. He is engaged in projects on employment and federal budget policy, using a historical, interdisciplinary approach to examine the potential role of full employment policies in the face of deficit reduction and continuous technological change.


Lorenzo Esposito, Bank of Italy, Milan, Italy

Scott Fullwiler, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA

Rohan Grey, Columbia Law School, USA

James Juniper, University of Newcastle, Australia
Fadhel Kaboub, Denison University, USA

Giuseppe Mastromatteo, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy

Scott L.B. McConnell, Eastern Oregon University, USA

William Mitchell, University of Newcastle, Australia

Edward J. Nell, The New School, USA

Timothy P. Sharpe, Nottingham Trent University, UKMartin J. Watts, University of Newcastle, Australia

Table of Contents

1. Goal-Oriented Taxation: A Brief Discussion of the Living-Space Tax; Scott L.B. McConnell

2. Public Policy for Working People; Michael J. Murray
3. The Job Guarantee: A Superior Buffer Stock Option for Government Price Stabilization; William Mitchell

4. The Employer of Last Resort for a Capital-Poor Economy; Edward J. Nell

5. The Job Guarantee and Eurozone Stabilization; Timothy P. Sharpe, Martin J. Watts, James Juniper

6. How to Fight Unemployment with the Minsky Alternative in Italy and in the EU; Giuseppe Mastromatteo, Lorenzo Esposito
7. Paltamo Full Employment Experiment in Finland: A Neo-chartalist Job Guarantee Pilot Program?; Antti Alaja and Jouko Kajanoja
8. Financial Sovereignty and the Possibility of Full Employment in Saudi Arabia; Fadhel Kaboub
9. Who Owns the Intellectual Fruits of Job Guarantee Labor?; Rohan Grey


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