The Economics of John Maynard Keynes: The Theory of a Monetary Economy

The Economics of John Maynard Keynes: The Theory of a Monetary Economy

The Economics of John Maynard Keynes: The Theory of a Monetary Economy

The Economics of John Maynard Keynes: The Theory of a Monetary Economy

Excerpt

This book is an exposition of the economics of John Maynard Keynes. By any test, Keynes ranks as one of the great economists of all time and as the most influential economic thinker the twentieth century has so far produced. His book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, published in 1936, has already become one of the classics of economic thought. Unfortunately for the undergraduate and for the general reader, the General Theory is addressed to professional economists and is not very intelligible to others. However, the fundamental ideas underlying Keynes' work are relatively simple and can be understood by anyone who is acquainted with broad problems of economic policy such as unemployment and inflation.

The present discussion of the economics of Keynes focuses on the forces which determine the volume of effective demand, an insufficiency of which leads to unemployment, and an excess of which causes inflation. The plan has been to follow the outline of the General Theory and to bring in at appropriate points the other aspects of Keynes' work which contribute to his fundamental position. Restatements and modifications made by Keynes in articles after 1936 have been incorporated into his general theory, with the last statement being taken as definitive. The chapter on war and postwar inflation is based mainly on Keynes' How to Pay for the War (1940). In the concluding chapter, an interpretation is given of the meaning and significance of Keynes' entire contribution to economic theory and policy.

The subject matter of this book is the economics of Keynes rather than Keynesian economics. The distinction is important. In recent years the scientific, as well as the not-so-scien-

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