Department Chair

Frederick Floss, Ph.D.

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Applied Economics, M.A.


Economics and Finance Department


Tae-Hee Jo, Ph.D.

Department Home page

First Reader

Tae-Hee Jo, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Victor Kasper, Jr., Ph.D.

Third Reader

Ted Schmidt, Ph.D.


The notion that the government should guarantee jobs is gaining political popularity in the United States. Over the past twenty years, a branch of post-Keynesians has developed a policy proposal known as the employer of last resort (ELR), which they argue would achieve full employment through direct government job creation. However, many have argued that this proposal is deficient, both in its design and its potential for implementation. While most critiques of this policy have come from other post-Keynesians, this thesis contributes to the controversy surrounding the ELR by examining it from a Marxian perspective. Specifically, this thesis aims to address the ELR’s neglect of political and class power dynamics. Included in this investigation is a comparative-critical analysis of the post-Keynesian and Marxian theories of unemployment and of the state, which I argue exposes deficiencies in the post-Keynesian theory. While I am sympathetic to the goals of the ELR, I argue that the lack of class analysis in post-Keynesian theory and policy inhibits the ELR advocates from appreciating the obstacles to the achievement of their goals. Therefore, I would suggest that Marxian analysis be incorporated into ELR theory and policy proposal.