This view is typically couched in terms of the need to reallocate jobs away from crisis-depressed sectors into other sectors. But doing so requires an expansion in productive capacity in those other sectors. Tepid employment growth is a sign that this investment in new productive capacity has not been forthcoming. One reason for the reluctance to undertake productive investment following a financial crisis is debt overhang, a situation in which the existence of prior debt acts as a disincentive to new investment. There are other explanations that, to varying degrees, account for the current reluctance of U.S. corporations to invest. In this article, Satyajit Chatterjee focuses on the debt overhang problem.

This article appeared in the Second Quarter 2013 edition of Business Review.

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