Say's Law and the Keynesian Revolution: How Macroeconomic Theory Lost its Way (Hardback)Steven Kates (author)
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This highly original contribution examines one of the most controversial concepts in the history of economics - the true meaning of the Law of Markets. This has been a contentious issue since the publication of Keynes's General Theory, but has also divided economists since it first emerged almost two centuries ago in the writings of James Mill. This book discusses the change in the understanding of the nature of the business cycle wrought by the General Theory whose major innovation in overturning Say's Law was to introduce demand deficiency into mainstream economic thought.
The volume provides a robust and innovative exposition of the crucial point of division between classical and Keynesian economics, demonstrating that the role of demand deficiency was the fundamental issue at stake. Steven Kates first discusses Keynes's interpretation of Say's Law before documenting its development within classical theory. He then charts the development of post-General Theory interpretations of Say's Law, challenging Keynes's definition which was captured in the phrase 'supply creates its own demand'. The author also attempts to unravel the vast literature on the progress made by Keynes between his Treatise on Money published in 1930 and the General Theory, published six years later. He suggests that the crucial point in the origins of the General Theory was Keynes's discovery of Malthus's writings on Say's Law at the very depths of the Great Depression in 1932.
This provocative book will be required reading for scholars and students interested in the history of economic thought, the history of macroeconomics and the Keynesian revolution.
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 765 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 1270 mm
'Say's Law and the Keynesian Revolution is a book par excellence. I have never encountered a text that explains the business cycle so cogently and provides a thorough repudiation of Keynesian economics to boot. It is a great contribution to economic literature.'
'The original classical formulators of Say's Law never said what Keynes claimed they said. On the contrary, far from dismissing slumps as impossibilities, they stressed their occurrence. They differed from Keynes only in denying that demand failure could be the cause. . . A convincing and authoritative account.' -- Thomas M. Humphrey, The Economic Journal
'If Steven Kates is right about Maynard Keynes then Keynes was very wrong about Say's Law - as understood and employed by most mainstream economists up to the writing of The General Theory itself. And not simply was Keynes wrong about the classics but in making legitimate the concept of aggregate demand failure - and quite parentless the law of markets - the consequence of Mr Keynes has been ruinous for theory and policy alike.'
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