Household debt, municipal debt and aggregate demand

Project Summary:

The researchers will use an historical accounting methodology, established in earlier work, to examine the extent to which changes in household leverage have contributed to shifts in aggregate demand over the past 80 years. They will expand this accounting framework to analyze municipal debt—both an important asset in financial markets and a critical source of finance for local public goods. The results and underlying data will likely provide new evidence on how debt affects the macroeconomy and will have implications for monetary policy as well as policy responses to levels of private and public leverage.


Arjun Jayadev is Associate Professor of Economics and Graduate Program Director at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. His research focuses on international economics, economics of distribution, development, political economy, macroeconomic dynamics, and the economy of power. His research has appeared in several leading journals as well as in popular outlets. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.