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Lectures on John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (2): Chapter 2, “The Postulates of the Classical Economics”

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  • Brian S. Ferguson

    () (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Guelph)

Abstract

Chapter 2 is one of the most important chapters in the General Theory. Not only does it set out Keynes’ disagreements with key elements of the classical model, it lays out his own model of the working of the labour market, which underlies the analysis in the remainder of the General Theory. The issue of how labour’s response to a change in its real wage differs depending on whether the change is driven by a change in the nominal wage or in the price of consumer goods plays a key part in the way Keynes’ theoretical model is developed here. This chapter introduces Keynes’ concept of involuntary unemployment and sets out his argument about the causal relation between the real wage and the level of unemployment, and about the consequent cyclicality of the real wage. Chapter 2 also includes Keynes’ discussion of Say’s Law.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian S. Ferguson, 2013. "Lectures on John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (2): Chapter 2, “The Postulates of the Classical Economics”," Working Papers 1307, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2013-07
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    File URL: http://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/repec/workingpapers/2013/2013-07.pdf
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    Keywords

    Keynes; General Theory; Keynesian Economics; Classical Economics; Involuntary Unemployment; Real Wages; Labour Market Adjustment; Say’s Law.;

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)
    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-

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