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Book part
Publication date: 18 April 2015

Harald Hagemann

The first foreign-language publication of The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes was published in German in the same year as the…

Abstract

The first foreign-language publication of The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes was published in German in the same year as the English original in 1936. The article discusses some quality problems of the translation, but focuses in particular on the controversies which evolved around interpretations of the Preface Keynes wrote for the German edition. Whereas a margin of doubt remains as to the responsibility for the text which finally appeared in German, any accusations that Keynes had sympathies for or was indifferent to the Nazi regime are clearly rejected.

Book part
Publication date: 18 February 2004

Daniele Besomi

The scientific correspondence between Harrod and Robertson was initiated by Harrod’s criticism of Robertson’s Banking Policy and the Price Level (1926).7 Harrod first…

Abstract

The scientific correspondence between Harrod and Robertson was initiated by Harrod’s criticism of Robertson’s Banking Policy and the Price Level (1926).7 Harrod first wrote on 18 May 1926 (letter 2) raising at once the following “salient point”: Much of your argument depends on the view that justifiable expansions and contractions as defined by you are desirable. Why are they desirable? You give reasons on p. 22 why you think some instability in output desirable. But the reasons mentioned there (and I can’t find any others) don’t seem particularly directed to show that the special form of instability constituted by the so-called “justifiable” expansions and contractions is desirable. They seem to me to show that perhaps some instability, that, presumably, of less degree than we have been accustomed to in the past, is good, but by no means precisely how much is good. Thus, suppose the “hypothetical group member” or “the actual workman” of p. 19 were able to govern output according to their own self interest, there would still, according to the arguments of ch. 2, be some instability. Would not that be enough? Or if you want more, why stop at the “justifiable”? Why not have some of that due to “secondary” causes? It seems to me that you have been led away by purely aesthetic interests to identify that more moderate amount of instability which we really need (as shown on p. 22.) with that which we would get: (i) if secondary causes were removed; and (ii) if control of output stayed where it is now – in the hands of the entrepreneur. I don’t see how you can say to the banks more than “damp down fluctuation a bit, but leave some fluctuation, as that is healthful for the body economic”.He added two notes to his letter, in the first of which he commented upon the four proposed courses of policy outlined by Robertson on pp. 25–26 of his book. In the second note Harrod suggested that Robertson’s calculations in Appendix I to Ch. 5 of Banking Policy assumed the following behaviour of the public: (i) People do not allow for the effect of their withholding on the price level (this is reasonable). (ii) They are ignorant as the future course of inflation (or do nothing to meet it). (iii) On this basis they decide what withholding is necessary to restore H, decide that it would be too much effort to restore it at once, and…spread the restoration over K – 1 days. It so happens that by choosing K – 1 their 2 errors (or failures to take everything into account) cancel each other out, and they do effect the restoration in that time. If K or K – 2 had been chosen, this would not have been so.Harrod further argued that Robertson’s “so-called reasonable assumption of a restoration in K – 1 days is purely arbitrary,” and that “all this reasoning is rendered of doubtful value by the fact that we must suppose an alteration in view as to ‘the appropriate proportion between Real Hoarding and Real Income’ during the process of inflation. Not only will people not replenish H at once, but they may well voluntarily reduce it.”

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-089-0

Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2015

Robert W. Dimand

Although the global economic crisis that began in 2007 has renewed interest in Keynes among the wider educated public, graduate courses in macroeconomics usually teach…

Abstract

Although the global economic crisis that began in 2007 has renewed interest in Keynes among the wider educated public, graduate courses in macroeconomics usually teach little about Keynes and the issues he analyzed, and what little they teach is often wrong (e.g., that Keynes assumed an arbitrarily fixed money wage rate or that he ignored expectations). Consequently, as macroeconomists turn their attention to the possibility, causes and consequences of financial crises and global depression, they do not have access to the insights into these questions produced by earlier generations of economists. The time and attention constraints of theory courses do not allow simply directing the students to the extensive scholarly literature on the economics of Keynes, so this paper offers a suggested introduction to the economics of Keynes for a graduate course in macroeconomics.

Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2016

Carlo Cristiano

Marshall, Pigou, and Keynes on one side of the Atlantic, and Fisher on the other, had different approaches to the quantity theory of money. But they shared its basic…

Abstract

Marshall, Pigou, and Keynes on one side of the Atlantic, and Fisher on the other, had different approaches to the quantity theory of money. But they shared its basic framework, with the result that theoretical discussions did not prevent some degree of mutual support on policy proposals. If a divergence there was, at this stage, this pertained the feasibility of Fisher’s proposals, because Fisher’s enthusiasm for reform could find no match at Cambridge. This notwithstanding, and although in varying degrees, Marshall, Pigou, and Keynes were sympathetic with Fisher’s battle for “stable money.” Indeed, a fragment from the Keynes Papers shows that, at a very early stage of his career, Keynes paid great attention to Fisher’s empirical research on the relationship between “Appreciation and interest,” taking the relation between nominal and real rates of interest as a possible explanation of the trade cycle. For some time at least, this widened the common ground upon which Fisher’s proposals for “stable money” could find some support at Cambridge.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-962-6

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Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2015

Luca Fiorito

This note presents new archival evidence about John Maynard Keynes’ attitudes toward Jews. The relevant material is composed of two letters sent by Robert G. Wertheimer to…

Abstract

This note presents new archival evidence about John Maynard Keynes’ attitudes toward Jews. The relevant material is composed of two letters sent by Robert G. Wertheimer to Bertrand Russell and Richard F. Kahn along with their replies. Between 1963 and 1964, Wertheimer – an Austrian-born Jewish immigrant then professor of economics at Babson College – wrote to Russell and Kahn asking for their personal reminiscences concerning Keynes’ anti-Semitic utterances. In their brief but still significant responses, both Russell and Kahn firmly denied any hint of anti-Semitism in Keynes, thereby providing significant first-hand testimonies from two of his closest acquaintances.

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A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-857-1

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Economics, Econometrics and the LINK: Essays in Honor of Lawrence R.Klein
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44481-787-7

Book part
Publication date: 19 August 2019

Hélène de Largentaye

The 40-letter correspondence concerning the French translation of The General Theory, between John Maynard Keynes and his translator, Jean de Largentaye, is a testimony of…

Abstract

The 40-letter correspondence concerning the French translation of The General Theory, between John Maynard Keynes and his translator, Jean de Largentaye, is a testimony of their close collaboration, which also involved Piero Sraffa in 1938 and 1939. Largentaye’s lexicon appears at the end of the French edition, providing definitions in French of technical terms used by Keynes. After its publication by Payot in 1942, the French edition of The General Theory was well received in France and no doubt contributed to the economic and social successes of the country in the subsequent 25 years.

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Including a Symposium on Ludwig Lachmann
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-862-8

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Documents on Modern History of Economic Thought: Part C
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-998-6

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Economics, Econometrics and the LINK: Essays in Honor of Lawrence R.Klein
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44481-787-7

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