Utility and All That: And Other Essays

By D. H. Robertson | Go to book overview

6
SOME NOTES ON THE THEORY OF INTEREST1

I KNOW of no shrewder appraisal of the 'new economics' than that communicated by John Williams to the American Economic Association in 1947.2 The tribute which I should like best to be in a position to offer him would be a development of one side of that notable critique in the shape of a brief but definitive re-statement of the whole theory of the rate of interest! But that I am afraid must wait till--shall we say?--his eightieth birthday. All I can offer now is a few bricks, mostly not of my own baking, which I have been trying to set tidily in a row to clear my own mind. But I must plead that they be regarded as no more than pedantic footnotes to two endeavours3 which I have already made towards the synthesis of 'old' and 'new' theories of interest, and which have been welcomed by some kindly critics4 as making some advance towards that desirable objective.


I

My first two bricks are concerned with the 'classical' theory of interest, in the convenient sense of the word 'classical' in which it stands not for the work of the writers of a particular period but for an analysis conducted on the assumption that the monetary system operates in such wise as to interpret and not to distort the influence of 'real' forces. Put loosely, I take the theory

____________________
1
A contribution to Money, Trade and Economic Growth, a collection of essays in honour of Professor J. H. Williams ( Macmillan & Co., New York, 1951).
2
American Economic Review, May 1948, pp. 273 ff. Reprinted in Post War Plans and Other Essays, 4th edition.
3
"'Mr. Keynes and the Rate of Interest'", in Essays in Monetary Theory; "'What Has Happened to the Rate of Interest?'" in the Three Banks Review, March 1949 [reprinted as No. 5 of this collection].
4
I must be allowed to make grateful reference to Miss M. J. Bowman, Journal of Political Economy, December 1948, p. 535.

-97-

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Utility and All That: And Other Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 9
  • Part I 11
  • 1 - UTILITY AND ALL THAT 13
  • 2 - THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 42
  • 3 - ON STICKING TO ONE'S LAST 60
  • 4 - REVOLUTIONIST'S HANDBOOK 66
  • Part II 81
  • 5 - WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE RATE OF INTEREST 83
  • 6 - SOME NOTES ON THE THEORY OF INTEREST 97
  • 7 - BRITISH NATIONAL INVESTMENT POLICY 116
  • Part III 133
  • 8 - THE PROBLEM OF EXPORTS 135
  • 9 - DOES BRITAIN FACE COLLAPSE? 140
  • 10 - WESTERN EUROPEAN ECONOMIC UNION 148
  • 11 - BRITAIN AND EUROPEAN RECOVERY 157
  • 12 - BRETTON WOODS 169
  • 13 - THE TERMS OF TRADE1 174
  • Part IV 183
  • 14 - IS THERE A FUTURE FOR BANKING? 185
  • 15 - NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD STORY 192
  • 16 - STABLE MONEY 201
  • INDEX OF PERSONS 206
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