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On Keynes' Animal Spirits

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  • Marchionatti, Roberto

Abstract

According to Keynes the formation of entrepreneurial expectations on investment in an uncertain environment depends on conventional judgements and animal spirits, in addition to and supporting rational calculation. Conventions and animal spirits have no room in the mainstream theoretical framework, because their existence makes long-term expectations exogenous and their influence totally arbitrary. For this reason in particular animal spirits have been excluded from scientific enquiry. This paper argues that: a) the theoretical framework of bounded rationality permits reconsidering and supporting Keynes' hypothesis that in an uncertain environment it is reasonable that the decisions of economic agents should depend on non-rational motives, b) in this context, animal spirits can be considered as a typical entrepreneurial impulse, depending on political, social and economic atmosphere: the latter being analysed in terms of motivations of innovative behaviour. Copyright 1999 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 52 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 415-39

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:52:y:1999:i:3:p:415-39

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962

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Cited by:
  1. Marchionatti Roberto, 2002. "Dealing with complexity Marshall and Keynes on the nature of economic thinking," CESMEP Working Papers 200201, University of Turin.
  2. Anna Carabelli & Nicolo De Vecchi, 2001. "Hayek and Keynes: From a common critique of economic method to different theories of expectations," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 269-285.
  3. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2007. "The system dynamics of collective knowledge: From gradualism and saltationism to punctuated change," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 215-236, February.
  4. Garrone Giovanna & Marchionatti Roberto, 2007. "The appropriate style of economic discourse. Keynes on Economics and Econometrics," CESMEP Working Papers 200702, University of Turin.
  5. Hanoch, Yaniv, 2002. ""Neither an angel nor an ant": Emotion as an aid to bounded rationality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 1-25, February.
  6. Marchionatti Roberto, 2009. "J. M. Keynes, thinker of economic complexity," CESMEP Working Papers 200902, University of Turin.
  7. Garrone Giovanna & Marchionatti Roberto, 2007. "Keynes, statistics and econometrics," CESMEP Working Papers 200703, University of Turin.
  8. Pech, Wesley & Milan, Marcelo, 2009. "Behavioral economics and the economics of Keynes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 891-902, December.

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