ROBERT SKIDELSKY and SIMONE GASPERIN (2021) Abstract: This paper upholds the classical Keynesian position that a laissez-faire market economy lacks a spontaneous tendency to full employment. Focusing on the UK case, it argues that monetary policy could not prevent the economic collapse of 2008-9 or achieve full recovery from the Great Recession that followed. The paper then outlines the case for fiscal policy to regain a permanent status of primacy in modern macroeconomic...Read More »
How to Achieve Shorter Working Hours
I have great pleasure in presenting this report on shorter working hours, which John McDonnell asked me to prepare, and which I have written with the valuable assistance of Rachel Kay. I accepted John’s invitation because shorter working hours is something I believe in. In fact, I wrote a book with my son, How Much is Enough?, which made the case for reducing the burden of work as part of the good life. The philosophy of this Report is quite simple. The advance of technology – the...Read More »
I don’t want to say too much about Nicky Kaldor’s actual stylised facts, but about the methodological implication of the stylised facts approach. Paul Samuelson famously said, “those who can do economics, do it; those who can’t, babble about methodology”. Kaldor could certainly do economics, but he needed a methodology to enable him to do what he wanted to do. This is my excuse for babbling. But let me start with his inaugural lecture at Cambridge in 1966, “Causes of the Slow...Read More »
How would Keynes have analysed the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009?
In recent years some monetary economists have voiced scepticism about aspects of the Keynesian revolution, particularly the importance of the 1936 General Theory relative to Keynes’s entire corpus.1 These sceptics have performed a valuable service by encouraging more whole-hearted Keynesians (including the author of this chapter) to look carefully at Keynes’s earlier work, notably the 1930 Treatise on Money. Arguably, the Treatise is in many ways a better guide than the General...Read More »
What Is Essential about Keynes Today?
In this paper, a transcript of an address given at the 2016 Keynes Conference in Turin, I unpick the various elements of Keynesian revival in economics and explore how different schools of economists have disagreed on which aspects of Keynes’ thought are relevant to modern economic theory. Finally, I conclude with four thoughts on the relevance of Keynes for how one does economics. There has been a modest revival of interest in Keynes after the collapse of 2008-2009 and the...Read More »