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On Keynes's Theory of the Aggregate Price Level in the Treatise: Any Help for Modern Aggregate Analysis?


  • Max Gillman


The paper explores the theory of the aggregate price and profit in Keynes's Treatise for its implications for modern macroeconomic analysis. Here profits are defined in terms of aggregate investment and saving. Deriving aggregate total revenue and aggregate total cost from this price theory, the paper shows how to construct a version of the Keynesian cross diagram. It then examines an IS-LM model from the perspective of the Treatise's price theory, focusing on an interpretation of the business cycle in which savings and investment may not equal. Comparing the Treatise's price theory with a neoclassical definition of profit, the paper reconstructs the cross diagram and reconsiders a related IS-LM model, with a focus on fiscal policy. This clarifies how microfoundations affect the standard cross and IS model. Further, the reconstructed cross diagram allows for derivation of neoclassical aggregate supply, to which the derivation of neoclassical aggregate demand can be added. Comparative statics of this AS-AD analysis suggests that a focus on profit might be useful in identifying the manifestation of exogenous technology shocks of real business cycle theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Max Gillman, 1999. "On Keynes's Theory of the Aggregate Price Level in the Treatise: Any Help for Modern Aggregate Analysis?," CASE-CEU Working Papers 0029, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sec:ceuwps:0029

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William J. Baumol, 1952. "The Transactions Demand for Cash: An Inventory Theoretic Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 545-556.
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    Cited by:

    1. Max Gillman, 2013. "Lost in Translation: Unified Consumption Theory, Dynamic AS-AD, and Business Cycles," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1305, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.

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    Aggregate Price Level; Keynes;


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