Toward a New Economics: Essays in Post-Keynesian and Institutionalist Theory

By Alfred S. Eichner | Go to book overview

8
Post-Keynesian Theory and Empirical Research

The movement to replace neoclassical theory with an alternative body of post-Keynesian (and post-Marxian) theory has now entered its third, and decisive, stage.

The first stage, extending almost from the moment the neoclassical theory emerged in the 1870s down through the immediate post-World War II period, or for nearly 100 years, was concerned with pointing out the fallacies of that approach. Marx, Veblen, Keynes, and others all contributed in important ways to the ensuing critique ( Seligman, 1962). Still, the most striking blows, at least to the logic of the system, were struck by Piero Sraffa, first in his 1926 article on increasing returns and then, even more tellingly, in his 1960 book, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, and by Joan Robinson in her 1953 article, "The Production Function and the Theory of Capital," which marked the onset of the Cambridge controversy in capital theory.

Today, neoclassical theory stands totally discredited on intellectual grounds--whether the theory takes the form of Marshallian partial equilibrium analysis, a neo-Walrasian general equilibrium model, the microeconomic half of the Samuelson-Solow "neoclassical synthesis," or a Clarkian steady-state growth model. Whatever the form, neoclassical theory can be shown to be either logically flawed or empirically irrelevant. No less important, the inability of the theory to suggest effective policies for dealing with the world's economic problems--whether they be the widespread unemployment of the 1930s or the double-digit inflation of the 1970s--has shown neoclassical economics to be politically as well as intellectually bankrupt.

The second stage in the shift of economics away from the neoclassical paradigm, covering the years from the publication of Joan Robinson's great work of synthesis, The Accumulation of Capital,

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Toward a New Economics: Essays in Post-Keynesian and Institutionalist Theory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface viii
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - The Megacorp as a Social Innovation 10
  • Afterword 27
  • 3 - Micro Foundations of the Corporate Economy 28
  • Afterword 73
  • 4 - An Anthropogenic Approach to Labor Economics 75
  • Afterword 96
  • 5 - The Demand Curve for Money Further Considered (Written With, and Based on the Econometric Work of, Leonard Forman and Miles Groves) 98
  • Afterword 109
  • 6 - Stagflation: Explaining the Inexplicable 113
  • Addendum 145
  • Afterword 148
  • Notes to the Addendum 149
  • 7 - The New Paradigm and Macrodynamic Modeling 151
  • Introduction 151
  • Conclusions 173
  • 8 - Post-Keynesian Theory and Empirical Research 176
  • Afterword 199
  • 9 - Reflections on Social Democracy 200
  • Afterword 218
  • References 219
  • Index 231
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