Posted by: Dirk | June 2, 2007

Galbraith on "Keynesianism"

There is an article by J.K. Galbraith on what people today call “Keynesianism”. His starting point is a reading list by Brad DeLong (who also replied to Galbraith’s piece), and his main argument is that the ideas of John Maynard Keynes are not taught in these days. This reminds me of Axel Leijonhufvud, “The Uses of the Past“, who also claims that some insights from the past were lost in time:

The argument of this essay can be put in today’s parlance: If you cannot think outside the box, how do you know you‘re in the right box? It is all very well to know your way around a broad class of models and be able to play with the assumptions and get more or less new results. But this only amounts to rearranging the furniture in the familiar box. It does not give you a view from the outside.

When I look back at our summer term Macro introduction class I can see their point. Teaching the IS/LM and AS/AD model while using the Blanchard text, we had a lot of feedback from students who wanted to know which parts were actually neo-classical and which Keynesian.


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