1st Edition

Debating Modern Monetary Theory

Edited By Costas Lapavitsas, Robert Rowthorn Copyright 2022
    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    112 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book considers the theoretical and empirical claims of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) in developed and developing countries. It is structured as a debate between leading MMT theorists and MMT critics.

    MMT threw down a challenge to mainstream economics and forced it to respond, above all in the USA. This is a rare occurrence, almost unknown, for heterodox economics during the last few decades. It is not surprising, therefore, that MMT has attracted strong attention from a broad swathe of researchers. It is even less surprising that it has become the theoretical vehicle of choice for political activists opposing austerity. Its influence is remarkable and has gradually spread to other social disciplines, including even cultural theory. Furthermore, the policy responses to coronavirus by several governments, particularly the extraordinary expansion of central bank balance sheets in 2020, appears to support MMT in practice.

    This volume takes into account the rising popularity of MMT and considers its theoretical claims in depth, since popularity does not necessarily equate to being right in theory. It also considers MMT claims regarding fiscal and monetary policy in view of the implications of the pandemic crisis for public spending and public debt. It is not accidental that the strongest support for MMT, in both theory and policy, is to be found in the USA, since MMT conclusions rely heavily on close institutional analysis of US government financing mechanisms.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of The Japanese Political Economy.

    Introduction: Debating modern monetary theory 
    Costas Lapavitsas and Bob Rowthorn 
    1. Is government debt net wealth? 
    Robert Rowthorn 
    2. The Job Guarantee and the Phillips Curve 
    William Mitchell 
    3. Does the national debt matter? 
    L. Randall Wray and Yeva Nersisyan 
    4. External debt matters: What are the limits to monetary sovereignty? 
    Jan Kregel 
    5. Modern monetary theory on money, sovereignty, and policy: A marxist critique with reference to the Eurozone and Greece 
    Costas Lapavitsas and Nicol├ís Aguila 


    Costas Lapavitsas is Professor of Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is internationally known and published widely on money and finance, contemporary capitalism, the Eurozone, and other topics.

    Robert Rowthorn is Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge. He is a leading political economist of the post-war period and has has written extensively on economic theory, capitalist development, inflation, and other topics.