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Monday, March 8, 2021

Modern Monetary Theory And The Recovery: Introduction

The pre-order period for the electronic book version of Modern Monetary Theory and the Recovery is now live (link to pre-order description, including table of contents). The ebook release date is March 11. (Paperback formatting is still underway.)

This article is the introductory section to the book, which describes its themes.


The world stumbled into yet another deep recession in 2020. Although economies are starting to recover from the effects of the pandemic, there are good reasons to fear a repeat of the experience of earlier decades: largely tepid growth in which job creation is weak.

Slow growth in recent decades was not an accident; it was the result of policies that were aimed at suppressing inflation and improving economic efficiency. Although there have been multiple attempts to come up with theories to explain slow growth, the most provocative arguments come from a new school of economic thought – Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).

In this book I discuss the causes of slow growth in the developed world after the early 1990s from a Modern Monetary Theory perspective. Policy proposals from MMT proponents that aim to rejuvenate the labour market without causing a resurgence of inflation will be examined.

Modern Monetary Theory is an outgrowth of the heterodox post-Keynesian school of economics, and the overall scope of the theory is often obscured, or mangled, in popular discussions. This text outlines its key concepts with the objective of reducing confusion.

Given the reality that MMT arguments are hotly debated, this book concludes with a chapter of criticisms of MMT. I am sympathetic to MMT and, therefore, not impartial. However, I believe I provide enough information for the reader to draw their own conclusions, as well as to pursue critiques elsewhere.

I explain MMT concepts in conventional terms, and opinions on topics of interest are offered. As such, this is not a textbook, rather it is a guide that allows the reader to navigate debates as well as glean background information about cited texts. My hope is that if the reader wishes to pursue a particular topic of interest, they are shown where to start digging.

(c) Brian Romanchuk 2021


  1. Is there any potential for an audiobook as well? I've been excited to get this book either way though.

    1. Thanks. You are the first person to ask about an audiobook, so congratulations!

      I looked at audiobook creation services, but the sticking point for me was the question of charts. I rely heavily on referring the reader to a chart, and rely on them interpreting the interest parts of the data within context. The alternative approach is to quote specific statistics, and embed them within the text. As a reader, I never liked that approach, as the statistics taken out of context are very often misleading. (In my view, that’s why some economists love doing it that way.) Obviously, working without charts can be done properly, but that takes a lot more work as a writer - and a reader.

      In any event, this comment reminds me that I should look into this again. This book is not chart-heavy, so it is less of an issue here.

    2. I got the second person asking me (on Twitter) just after this.

      I looked again at audio, and I really don't think it would work for me. The costs are large, and I am not really sure I could control the quality. I worked for a financial publisher (as well as dealing with book layouts in academia), and so I am more confident that I can produce output that is formatted acceptably close to that of traditional publishers.


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