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Les premiers travaux économiques de Gunnar Myrdal

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  • Dostaler, Gilles

    (Département de sciences économiques, Université du Québec à Montréal)

Abstract

This essay discusses Myrdal's first contributions to theoretical economics, developed when he was one of the mainstrays of the Stockholm school. It examines the theories developed in his doctoral dissertation, The Problem of Price Formation and Economic Change (1927), in Monetary Equilibrium (1931), as well as his contributions to the debate on fiscal policy. It is argued that these works are probably Myrdal's most original and that many of their conclusions are utilized in the later part of his career, when he became, as he said himself, an institutional economist. The paper concludes with an examination of a few aspects of the relation between Myrdal's and J. M. Keynes's works. It is clear that Keynes was not the sole actor in the building of new theoretical frameworks, associated with what is now called the Keynesian revolution. Myrdal was active in the changes taking place. In certain aspects, he went beyond Keynes towards more contemporary developments. His basic contributions, including the analysis of expectations, the development of a method to deal with dynamics, and the analysis of the relationship between saving and investment, formed the basis of the Stockholm school and influenced other economists who helped build important parts of modern macroeconomic theory, notably John Hicks. Ce texte discute des premières contributions de Myrdal à la théorie économique, élaborées alors qu’il était l’un des principaux animateurs de l’école de Stockholm. Il examine les idées développées dans sa thèse de doctorat, Le problème de la formation des prix et le changement économique (1927), dans L’Équilibre monétaire (1932) ainsi que dans ses contributions au débat sur la politique fiscale. Ces premiers travaux sont sans doute les plus originaux de Myrdal et plusieurs de leurs éléments se retrouvent dans les écrits de la deuxième partie de la carrière de l’auteur, lorsqu’il est devenu, selon son propre témoignage, un économiste institutionnaliste. L’article se termine par un examen de quelques aspects des relations entre Keynes et Myrdal. Il est clair que Keynes est loin d’être l’unique acteur dans la construction de nouveaux cadres théoriques associés à ce qu’on appelle la révolution keynésienne. Myrdal est intervenu activement dans cette transformation. À certains égards, il est allé plus loin que Keynes, en direction de développements plus contemporains. Ses apports les plus fondamentaux, l’intégration des anticipations, le développement d’une méthode d’analyse dynamique, l’étude des relations entre l’épargne et l’investissement, constituent le fondement de la théorie de l’école de Stockholm et ont aussi influencé d’autres économistes qui ont jeté les bases de la théorie macroéconomique moderne, notamment John Hicks.

Suggested Citation

  • Dostaler, Gilles, 1991. "Les premiers travaux économiques de Gunnar Myrdal," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 67(2), pages 192-217, juin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:67:y:1991:i:2:p:192-217
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Donald Winch, 1966. "The Keynesian Revolution in Sweden," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 168-168.
    2. R. A. Jolly, 1978. "Comment," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 1(60), pages 38-42, December.
    3. K. Velupillai, 1988. "Some Swedish Stepping Stones to Modern Macroeconomics," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 87-98, Jan-Mar.
    4. Siven, Claes-Henric, 1985. " The End of the Stockholm School," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(4), pages 577-593.
    5. C. D. Throsby, 1978. "Comment," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 1(57), pages 26-28, January.
    6. Otto Steiger, 1976. "Bertil Ohlin and the Origins of the Keynesian Revolution," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 341-366, Fall.
    7. R. G. Fry, 1978. "Comment," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 1(60), pages 14-15, December.
    8. T. G. Parry, 1978. "Comment," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 1(57), pages 39-41, January.
    9. M. T. Skully, 1978. "Comment," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 1(57), pages 58-59, January.
    10. Ohlin, Bertil, 1978. " Keynesian Economics and the Stockholm School: A Comment on Don Patinkin's Paper," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(2), pages 144-147.
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