Adjusting Theory to Reality: The Role of Aggregate Demand in Kaldor's Late Contributions on Economic Growth
This paper deals with the analysis of growth and development Nicholas Kaldor formulated in the later part of his career, during the 1970s and 1980s. Kaldor's passage from a resource-constrained to a demand-driven conception of growth was closely connected to his persistent effort to make economic theory more realistic and relevant, and led him to a complex vision of the growth process, with historical and institutional factors playing a fundamental role. However, the particular formulation in which Kaldor expressed his ideas about the strategic role of exports in the growth process, namely the long-period foreign trade multiplier, cannot fully capture the main characterisitcs of his vision of the growth process, and is in some respects contradictory with that vision. A critical role is played by Kaldor's conception of the determinants of investment, which, as in his full-employment growth models, he treats as entirely induced by output growth, and hence as not posing limits, in normal conditions, on output expansion.
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