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Mythical Ages and Methodological Strictures - Joan Robinson's Contributions to the Theory of Economic Growth

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  • Peter Skott

    ()
    (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Abstract

This paper considers some methodological aspects of Joan Robinson's contribution to post-Keynesian growth theory. Joan Robinson's criticisms of equilibrium analysis, of the conflation of logical and historical time and of the uses (and misuses) of mathematical formalisation are scathing. But while many of her points are well taken, parts of her argument appear questionable. As a result, her methodological critique of equilibrium economics may be misleading. Moreover, she failed to appreciate the potential gains from mathematical formalisation. The further development of a Robinsonian analysis of economic growth calls for a reconsideration of these aspects of her legacy.

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Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2004-09.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2004-09

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Keywords: Joan Robinson; equilibrium; stability; historical time;

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  1. Tobin, James, 1975. "Keynesian Models of Recession and Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 195-202, May.
  2. Gram, Harvey & Walsh, Vivian, 1983. "Joan Robinson's Economics in Retrospect," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 518-50, June.
  3. Kaldor, Nicholas, 1972. "The Irrelevance of Equilibrium Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(328), pages 1237-55, December.
  4. Peter Flaschel & Reiner Franke, 2000. "An Old-Keynesian Note on Destabilizing Price Flexibility," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 273-283.
  5. Peter Flaschel & Peter Skott, 2006. "Steindlian Models Of Growth And Stagnation," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 303-338, 07.
  6. Skott,Peter, 1989. "Conflict and Effective Demand in Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521365963, April.
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