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La place du Treatise on Money dans l’oeuvre de Keynes : une théorie de l’instabilité

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  • Hanin, Frédéric

    (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Abstract

Keynes is usually known as the creator of the concept of unemployment equilibrium. We propose here to explore another trend of Keynes’ thought, i.e. endogenous instability. The Treatise on Money describes the coordination problems between industrial circulation and financial circulation, the origin of endogenous fluctuations, structural characteristic of modern economies. The Treatise on Money’s specificity is found in a non-walrasian macroeconomic perspective where social interactions in the financial circulation explain the presence of multiple equilibria. The changing mood in the financial sector, because of profits or losses’ signal from the industrial circulation, and his consequence on bank’s balance sheet, lead to structural fragility. Keynes’ analysis of monetary policy emphasizes the typical trade-off in capitalist economy between the stimulation of activity and the reduction of liquidity of bank’s asset, which lead to credit rationing in the industrial circulation. Alors que Keynes est souvent associé au concept d’équilibre de sous-emploi développé dans la Théorie générale, ce texte propose une relecture du Treatise on Money dans une perspective d’analyse de la dynamique des économies monétaires. Cette dernière se caractérise par l’existence d’instabilité endogène, caractéristique structurelle des économies modernes du fait de l’imparfaite coordination entre l’activité financière et l’activité industrielle. L’originalité théorique du Treatise réside dans l’adoption d’une perspective macroéconomique non walrassienne incorporant des interactions sociales et la présence d’équilibres multiples sur le marché financier. L’origine de l’instabilité se trouve être l’effet de la préférence pour la liquidité des investisseurs sur le bilan des banques et ses conséquences sur la monnaie disponible pour la circulation industrielle. L’analyse proposée par Keynes dans le Treatise préfigure les débats contemporains sur la capacité des autorités monétaires à stabiliser le niveau de l’activité dans un contexte d’arbitrage constant entre le niveau d’emploi des ressources et les conséquences macroéconomiques de la préférence pour la liquidité des investisseurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanin, Frédéric, 2003. "La place du Treatise on Money dans l’oeuvre de Keynes : une théorie de l’instabilité," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 79(1), pages 71-86, Mars-Juin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:79:y:2003:i:1:p:71-86
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    1. Veblen, Thorstein, 1904. "Theory of Business Enterprise," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1904.
    2. Robert Dimand, 1988. "The Origins of the Keynesian Revolution," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 139, April.
    3. Marco Dardi & Mauro Gallegati, 1992. "Alfred Marshall on Speculation," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 571-594, Fall.
    4. Lux, Thomas, 1995. "Herd Behaviour, Bubbles and Crashes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 881-896, July.
    5. Edward Miller, 1985. "Keynesian Economics as a Translation Error: an Essay on Keynes’ Financial Theory," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 265-285, Summer.
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