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On Keynes' Animal Spirits

  • Marchionatti, Roberto

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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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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