The Theory of Fluctuations in Contemporary Economic Thought

The Theory of Fluctuations in Contemporary Economic Thought

The Theory of Fluctuations in Contemporary Economic Thought

The Theory of Fluctuations in Contemporary Economic Thought

Excerpt

The present study, made possible by a Social Science Research Council Award in 1946, was undertaken with considerable trepidation because its range is wide, much of the subject matter is controversial, and the methodological issues which form an important part of the subject seem remote from real problems.

My interest centered initially on an even broader question which I pondered over a long period in the government service: namely, the relationship between economic theory and economic policy, in particular the treatment of policy problems as "non-economic," as outside the scope of economic science proper. I came to feel that the theories of economic fluctuations and employment which grew out of the ferment of the thirties threw an altogether different light on this relationship; and that they were worth exploring on these as well as other grounds.

I should like to acknowledge my debt to Professor J. M. Clark for many helpful suggestions which improved this book substantially. To Professor Frederick C. Mills I am grateful for advice and encouragement given when most needed. Professors Moses Abramovitz, James W. Angell, Joseph Dorfman, Carter Goodrich and William S. Vickrey read the manuscript in an early draft and kindly gave me the benefit of their comments. I wish especially to thank Mrs. C. A. Stewart, of the Department of Economics, for helping me so efficiently over obstacles that try the soul of an author.

I owe more than I can say to my wife both for her patience while I was occupied in writing this book during many evenings and weekends and for her assistance in editing the manuscript. I am solely responsible for the views presented in these chapters and for errors which may remain.

S. D. M.

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND SEPTEMBER, 1948 . . .

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