- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (March 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1419128949
- ISBN-13: 978-1419128943
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,585,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Economics of John Maynard Keynes: The Theory of a Monetary Economy
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?Dudley Dillard, in his recent volume on Keynes, has pointed out in the preface that The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' is not very intelligible to the undergraduate and general reader. It can safely be said that the author has remedied this lack of communication by producing a competent and thorough text for elementary students. It is particularly suitable for students because it avoids the major pitfalls and false problems that have plagued so many of the post-1936 discussions about Keynes's theories, especially those debates of literary economics.?-American Economic Review --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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The basic framework that Keynes elaborates in the General Theory is not actually all that difficult to understand but Keynes himself is not always the clearest of writers which makes the General Theory a real challenge for those not trained in economics. It is often difficult, especially after only a single reading, to get a sense of how the logical pieces of Keynes's economic theory fit together. Dudley Dillard does an excellent job in this work of presenting the logical structure of Keynesian economics, as it is worked out in the General Theory, in a clear and highly accessible manner. This book is really essential reading for anyone struggling to make sense of the General Theory and since Dillard focuses nearly all of his attention on the General Theory itself, as opposed to Skidelsky who attempts to provide biographical details, an overview of economic developments since Keynes, as well as an overview of Keynes's ethics, social philosophy, and current relevance, Dillard's book is a much more useful guide to the General Theory than Skidelsky's book.
I am not really qualified to say whether Dillard's interpretation is correct in every respect. Ultimately this is something the reader must decide for themselves after comparing Dillard's interpretation to other interpretations as well as the writings of Keynes himself. But even if Dillard does make errors in his interpretation that does not negate the value of this book for those who are just beginning their studies of the General Theory. If that is you, you should definitely order this book. You will not regret it!
It is written in clear and engaging prose, and is remarkably novel considering its date of publication (1948). Dillard also anticipated the American Post Keynesian rendition of the Z-D model by several years. The outline of the book is really great. It covers the whole of Keynes' General Theory book. Dillard recognizes the importance of uncertainty in economic instability, and correctly attributes this state to the investment side of income and employment activity (and not the consumption side).
This is probably the first American Post Keynesian book to be written, and it is a shame mose Post Keynesian authors have ignored it. Several reasons can explain this. Dillard does not follow Davidson in attributing unemployment to liquidity preference and the essential properties of money(approximately zero elasticities of substitution and production), although he does mention them. But Dillard is on the right track by locating the soruce of instability in the rapid movements of the marginal efficiency of capital due to the insecure foundations of investor expectations. Also, Dillard accepted without question the argument that the money supply can be directly controlled, and used this to explain the interest rate (consisting of the strength of liquidity preference and the money supply). But Dillard is on the right track in attributing greater importance to liquidity preference rathern than money supply. My favorite part of the book was Dillard's discussion of Expectations (pp. 142-153).
Every person interested in what Keynes did in his General Theory book should read this book very carefully. Read chapters 1-3 twice, and then look at chapters 5, 7, 8 and 9 to see what Keynes accomplished in his revolution.
A Must Read!!