Maynard's Revenge: The Collapse of Free Market Macroeconomics

Overview

It is now widely agreed that mainstream macroeconomics is irrelevant and that there is need for a more useful and realistic economic analysis that can provide a better understanding of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis. Lance Taylor’s book exposes the unrealistic assumptions of the rational expectations and real business cycle approaches and of mainstream finance theory. It argues that in separating monetary and financial behavior from real behavior, they do not address the ways that consumption, ...

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Maynard's Revenge: The Collapse of Free Market Macroeconomics

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Overview

It is now widely agreed that mainstream macroeconomics is irrelevant and that there is need for a more useful and realistic economic analysis that can provide a better understanding of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis. Lance Taylor’s book exposes the unrealistic assumptions of the rational expectations and real business cycle approaches and of mainstream finance theory. It argues that in separating monetary and financial behavior from real behavior, they do not address the ways that consumption, accumulation, and the government play in the workings of the economy.

Taylor argues that the ideas of J. M. Keynes and others provide a more useful framework both for understanding the crisis and for dealing with it effectively. Keynes’s basic points were fundamental uncertainty and the absence of Say’s Law. He set up machinery to analyze the macro economy under such circumstances, including the principle of effective demand, liquidity preference, different rules for determining commodity and asset prices, distinct behavioral patterns of different collective actors, and the importance of thinking in terms of complete macro accounting schemes. Economists working in this tradition also worked out growth and cycle models.

Employing these ideas throughout Maynard’s Revenge, Taylor provides an analytical narrative about the causes of the crisis, and suggestions for dealing with it.

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Editorial Reviews

Mint

[A] combative and tightly argued book on the collapse of the recent consensus in economics. Taylor strives to reinstate not just Keynes but an entire school of economics...The tone of the book fluctuates between being clinically academic and sharply polemical, a delightful combination often seen in the writings of Keynes himself...The deeper point Taylor makes is that much of modern economics is actually derived from insights provided by economists in previous ages. He powerfully illustrates this in almost every chapter in his book.
— Niranjan Rajadhyaksha

Choice

This volume is useful, and even entertaining, when viewed as a paean to Keynes and his ideas.
— E. Kacapyr

Geoffrey Harcourt
Lance Taylor has written a tome for our times. It is engaging and forceful, the analysis is of the highest order, and the exposition of very complex ideas is wonderfully clear.
Amitava Dutt
There is a need for a careful analysis of why exactly much of mainstream macroeconomics is irrelevant and problematic, and whether a more useful and realistic kind of economic analysis exists which can provide a better understanding of real world events. Lance Taylor's book fills this need, providing an authoritative presentation of a more useful and realistic kind of macroeconomic analysis and deftly mingling theoretical analysis and critique with discussions of basic economic concepts. It is essential reading for anyone interested in how the economy works and how to make it work better and more humanely.
Servaas Storm
Maynard's Revenge offers a broad rigorous account of the creation, consolidation, and eventual eclipse of Keynesian theory, as well as the phoenix-like return of Keynesianism. With his nose to the empirical ground, Lance Taylor compellingly builds his case that Keynes was correct about how to do macroeconomics in our world. But Taylor goes beyond Keynes, showing how 'ideas from the Master' have been extended by his many disciples into an impressive body of thought."
Mint - Niranjan Rajadhyaksha
[A] combative and tightly argued book on the collapse of the recent consensus in economics. Taylor strives to reinstate not just Keynes but an entire school of economics...The tone of the book fluctuates between being clinically academic and sharply polemical, a delightful combination often seen in the writings of Keynes himself...The deeper point Taylor makes is that much of modern economics is actually derived from insights provided by economists in previous ages. He powerfully illustrates this in almost every chapter in his book.
Choice - E. Kacapyr
This volume is useful, and even entertaining, when viewed as a paean to Keynes and his ideas.
Choice
This volume is useful, and even entertaining, when viewed as a paean to Keynes and his ideas.
— E. Kacapyr
Mint
[A] combative and tightly argued book on the collapse of the recent consensus in economics. Taylor strives to reinstate not just Keynes but an entire school of economics...The tone of the book fluctuates between being clinically academic and sharply polemical, a delightful combination often seen in the writings of Keynes himself...The deeper point Taylor makes is that much of modern economics is actually derived from insights provided by economists in previous ages. He powerfully illustrates this in almost every chapter in his book.
— Niranjan Rajadhyaksha
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674050464
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,457,686
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Lance Taylor is Arnhold Professor of International Cooperation and Development at the New School for Social Research.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2011

    Insightful, informative and excellently written

    Lance Taylor's "Maynard's Revenge" does many things, and it does them brilliantly. The book presents a history of economic thought, an economic history, and macroeconomics. Most of all, it is a to-the-point analysis of how economics as practiced since the 70s has failed to correctly inform policy and institutional change as well as exacerbate market failures. The outcomes of this failed economics are fully being felt today by millions of unemployed Americans. For the non-economist Taylor "translates" in English otherwise (unnecessarily) complicated economic models and explains how they may not be compatible with the real world. Data and graphs as well as policy anecdotes make for a very enjoyable reading. For the economist the book will reveal new insights with every reading. Overall, the sinful marriage between politics and economics, often described with quite some wit, is something this and future generations should probably really worry about. Highly recommended!

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