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Keynes and Australia


  • Donald J Markwell

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)


JM Keynes was more important to Australia than Australia was to him. Yet the connections are many and varied, and worthy of some attention. As has been said, ‘a survey of the rise and fall of Keynesian economics in Australia’ is ‘an important story which still has to be written’; but it ‘is the subject for at least three years arduous research’ (Groenewegen 1983). This paper is less ambitious. An exercise in economic, personal and political history and in the history of economic thought, it briefly outlines: 1. Keynes’s dealings with the Australian Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, over the reparations demands against Germany after World War I; 2. some incidental economic issues; 3. Keynes’s opinions and influence on the handling of the Depression in Australia; 4. the early impact of Keynesian economics in Australia; and 5. Australia’s approach to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, of which Keynes was co-founder.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald J Markwell, 2000. "Keynes and Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2000-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2000-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cain, Neville, 1984. "The Propagation of Keynesian Thinking in Australia: E. R. Walker 1933-36," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 60(171), pages 366-380, December.
    2. G. L. Wood, 1940. "The Economic Implications Of Peace For Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 16(1), pages 82-95, June.
    3. A. Ll. Wright, 1956. "The Genesis Of The Multiplier Theory," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 181-193.
    4. T. W. Swan, 1940. "Australian War Finance And Banking Policy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 16(1), pages 50-67, June.
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    More about this item


    Australia; institutions; Keynes; post-war;

    JEL classification:

    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N27 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Africa; Oceania

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