Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution: Studies of the Inter-war Literature on Money, the Cycle, and Unemployment

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This book is about the emergence, during the inter-war years, of what came to be called "Keynesian macroeconomics." It accepts the novelty of that formulation, as represented by the IS-LM model, which in various forms came to dominate the subdiscipline for three decades. It argues, however, that the IS-LM model did not represent a radical change in economic thinking, but rather was an extremely selective synthesis of themes which had permeated the preceding literature, including Keynes's own contributions to it, not least the General Theory. Hence the book questions the appropriateness of thinking of that development as the outcome of a "Keynesian revolution" in economic thought, partly because the most radical aspects of Keynes's own intended contribution were excluded from it, but mainly because IS-LM is better viewed as the end result of twenty years or more of intellectual development to which many others besides Keynes contributed.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Natura non facit saltum. So said Marshall, and once again he's been proven correct. Without denigrating the very real contributions of John Maynard Keynes, David Laidler demonstrates conclusively that, far from inventing an entirely novel theory to challenge a dead orthodoxy, Keynes fabricated his theory from the ample materials provided by a lively and diverse interwar literature. Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution sets Keynes's work in the theoretical context of its period as no other book has. It is must reading not only for historians of economics but for anyone who wants to understand how modern macroeconomics came to be." Neil Skaggs, Illinois State University

"For persons entering economics in the 1940s, 'Keynesian' economics was shockingly 'revolutionary' because it was shockingly activist by comparison with all earlier, other than Marxian, economic teaching. Laidler's book brilliantly traces the 'fabrification' of a textbook revolution in activist economics which in one generation replaced thoughtful Marshallian courses in economic inquiry with courses in soapbox oratory about economic fluctuations. Laidler's scholarship is impeccable; even the most knowledgable professional has much to learn from reading his book." Robert Clower, University of South Carolina

"David Laidler has written an important, scholarly, and controversial study of the diverse strands of monetary economics between the wars, showing how Austrian, Swedish, American institutionalist, and Marshallian traditions of cycle analysis, and Keynes's own earlier work, contributed along with Keynes's General Theory to the emergence of modern macroeconomics. Laidler's wide-ranging, learned, and provocative analysis deepens our understanding of the richness of interwar macroeconomics, and will stimulate a lively debate on the role of Keynes in the development of macroeconomics." Robert Dimand, Brock University, Canada

"...brilliantly conceived and splendidly executed...No one interested in the economics or the economic history of the interwar period should fail to read it." Journal of Economics, Susan Showson, University of Toronto

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 An Overview 3
Pt. I The Wicksellians
2 The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle 27
3 The Macrodynamics of the Stockholm School 51
Pt. II The Marshallian Tradition in Britain
4 Cambridge Cycle Theory: Lavington, Pigou, and Robertson 79
5 The Monetary Element in the Cambridge Tradition 105
6 The Treatise on Money and Related Contributions 130
7 British Discussions of Unemployment 155
Pt. III American Analysis of Money and the Cycle
8 American Macroeconomics between World War I and the Depression 181
9 American Macroeconomics in the Early 1930s 213
Pt. IV Keynes, the Classics, and IS-LM
10 The General Theory 247
11 The Classics and Mr. Keynes 277
12 IS-LM 303
13 Selective Synthesis 323
References 341
Author Index 367
Subject Index 372
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