The Marshallian roots of Keynes’s General Theory
The aim of this paper is to elucidate Keynes's Marshallian lineage. I argue that the result of bringing out the Marshallian antecedents of the General Theory highlights Keynes’s failure to achieve the theoretical project he was striving at, namely to demonstrate an involuntary unemployment result in the arising of which nominal wage rigidity would play no role. In the first part of the paper, I reexamine Marshall’s theory of value. This section’s main conclusion is that no theory of unemployment is to be found in Marshall’s writings. In section two, I study the literature spanning from Marshall to Keynes, focusing on Beveridge, Hicks and Pigou, in order to see whether the lacuna present in Marshall’s writings happened to be filled. Documenting the emergence of the notion of frictional unemployment, I come to the conclusion that its arising went along with little theoretical elaboration. The third and last part of the paper is a critical reflection on the General Theory. I start by making the point that Keynes’s theory of effective demand ought to be viewed as an extension of Marshall’s analysis of firms’ short-period production decisions. This enables me to bring out the decisive role played by the wage rigidity assumption in Keynes’s reasoning. I claim that, except for this assumption, the differences between ‘effective demand à la Marshall’ and ‘effective demand à la Keynes’ are minor. I close my analysis of Keynes’s reasoning by showing that no real removal of the nominal rigidity assumption is to be found in chapter 19 of the General Theory.
|Date of creation:||30 Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: +32 10473945
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/ires
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2009027. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.