Keynes

Why Keynes is Important Today

By Peter Temin and David Vines

Macroeconomists have been notably unhelpful in explaining and recommending policies since the global financial crisis of 2008. 

How could this have happened? 

Since John Maynard Keynes created macroeconomics in the 1930s, the field has grown to be half of all introductory courses in economics and has become well represented and respected among academic economic publications. Keynes was considered helpful in the “Golden Age of Economic Growth” after the Second World War, but he is largely ignored now that we have recreated conditions similar to the Great Depression in many countries. Read more

Macro once again, or "it is history, stupid"

                          The blogosphere experiences another burst of historical/methodological discussions about macroeconomics: was new cla ssical macroeconomics of Lucas and Sargent, among others, an empirical or methodological revolution? Read more

“Choice Under Uncertainty”: A Misnomer

The Risk Society

Recent social theory dealing with modernity has focused on the increase of new forms of risk as a social challenge. The growing relative importance of manufactured risks (that are the product of human activity) as compared to external or natural risks is well described in the work of the sociologists Ulrich Beck (Beck, 1992) or Anthony Giddens (Giddens, 1990).[1] The emergence of new forms of manufactured risk (e.g. environmental risk, financial risk) is a direct consequence of rising levels of complexity and interconnectedness in industrial societies, reflected in the organization of production, the nature of the technologies employed, etc. Read more

Keynes's 10 Professors... and a Major

I  thought I was on to an inside reference when re-reading the General Theory when Keynes calls Marx, Edgeworth and others simply by name, but refers to "Professor Pigou" in several instances.  What devilish bit of British humour was I missing out on, had Pigou slighted Keynes in some talk and therefore the emphasis on his position as professor as Keynes disagree with him?   Read more

Paul Davidson - Legal Arbitrage Is Not Comparative Advantage 4/4

In the fourth and final part of this four-part INET "From the Director's Chair" interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Journal of Post Keynesian Economics co-founder Paul Davidson about Davidson's book The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity. Read more

Paul Davidson - The Trouble With the Ergodic Axiom 2/4

In the second part of this four-part INET "From the Director's Chair" interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Journal of Post Keynesian Economics co-founder Paul Davidson about Davidson's book The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity. Davidson explains the problems Keynes saw with the ergodic axiom, a concept economics borrowed from statistics that says the future is stable and can be predicted by data from the past. The axiom has taken hold because economists suffering from "physics envy" think they need this assumption to make economics feel more like a physical science. However, as Paul Samuelson famously wrote, this approach often dooms economists to making precise but irrelevant predictions about the future. Read more

Paul Davidson - What Goes Around Comes Around 3/4

In the third part of this four-part INET "From the Director's Chair" interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Journal of Post Keynesian Economics co-founder Paul Davidson about Davidson's book The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity.

Davidson examines the current economic problems in Europe and admonishes Germany for forgetting Keynes's truism that debtors' problems are creditors' problems too. To show how bolstering the Greek economy is in Germany's interests, Davidson points to the Marshall Plan as an example of how a major government investment was able to help solve a similar problem after World War II.

Paul Davidson - Keynes's Forgotten Lessons 1/4

In the first part of this four-part INET "From the Director's Chair" interview, INET Executive Director Robert Johnson talks with Journal of Post Keynesian Economics co-founder Paul Davidson about Davidson's book The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity.

Davidson discusses Keynes's oft-forgotten insights into the foundational assumptions of economics. Classical economists were treated as "Euclidians in a non-Euclidian world," Davidson says. "When they saw parallel lines intersecting they rebuked them for intersecting." Keynes saw that the problem with Euclidean economics was what he called uncertainty, meaning the idea that the future cannot be predicted from the past -- an insight that modern economics too often ignores.

Maynard's Revenge: A Review

 

 

Below is a revised version of a talk I gave at the New School University, at a conference to launch Lance Taylor's latest book.  The date of the event was April 28, 2011, more than a year ago, and the delay in revision was entirely my fault--overcommitment and pressing deadlines on many fronts.  Sorry about that. 

Lance Taylor, Maynard’s Revenge:  The Collapse of Free Market Macroeconomics (Harvard 2010). Read more

Backhouse and Bateman want Worldly Philosophers, not only dentists; not everyone agrees

Professors Roger Backhouse and Brad Bateman wrote an op-ed for the New York Times a few days ago, arguing that "thanks to decades of academic training in the “dentistry” approach to economics, today’s Keynes or Friedman is nowhere to be found" - we have stopped thinking big they say. Read more