Economic Theory

A ’Second Edition’ of The General Theory by Professor Geoffrey Harcourt, Peter Riach

By Professor Geoffrey Harcourt, Peter Riach

Keynes consistently meant to write down 'footnotes' to his masterwork The common Theory, which might take account of the criticisms made from it and make allowance him to strengthen and refine his rules extra. even though, a couple of components mixed to avoid him from doing so ahead of his loss of life in 1946. quite a lot of Keynes students - together with James Tobin, Paul Davidson and Lord Skidelsky - have written the following the 'footnotes' that Keynes by no means did.

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They suggest on the evidence of the Tract that Keynes mqy have preceded Sraffa, who made explicit the own-rates analysis when he tore into Hayek in 1932, even though in Chapter 17 Keynes acknowledged Sraffa as his source for the xxxii INTRODUCTION concept. We suggest that reading the English translation of Sraffa's 1920 undergraduate dissertation (Wendy Harcourt and Sardoni 1993) could push the argument about who was first back even furtherl 13 Neither Joan Robinson nor Richard Kahn was happy with the arguments of Chapter 17, not least because of its long-period context and content.

He argues that Marshall is the real culprit, Marshall of his writings and lectures outside the Pn'nciples, despite the fact that Keynes only quoted from the Principles in The General Theory itself. Lawlor argues that Keynes neglected Irving Fisher's great contributions (especially his emphasis on the real factors of productivity and thrift as the principal determinants of the rate of interest, and on the real nature of interest), having persuaded himself that they were 'all in Marshall' anyway.

RIACH As we have already remarked, Chapter 17 has always been something of a mystery to Keynes observers and, indeed, even to some of his closest followers and/or admirers. Barens and Cas pari trace the origins of this to the different purposes which Sraffa and Keynes had in mind in their use of the concept of own rates of interest. On the one hand, Sraffa used them essentially for an internal critique of Hayek's theoretical analysis in Prices and Production (1931). Y an environment if uncertainty and missing markets.

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