Teaching Post Keynesian Economics

Teaching Post Keynesian Economics

Edited by Jesper Jespersen and Mogens Ove Madsen

This book contends that post Keynesian economics has its own methodological and didactic basis, and its realistic analysis is much-needed in the current economic and financial crisis. At a time when the original message of Keynes’ General Theory is no longer present in the most university syllabuses, this book celebrates the uniqueness of teaching post Keynesian economics, providing comparisons with traditional economic rationale and illustrating the advantages of post Keynesian pedagogy.

Chapter 8: Teaching macroeconomics: seeking inspiration from Paul Davidson

Finn Olesen

Subjects: economics and finance, post-keynesian economics, teaching economics


As it is known from the history of economic thought, Post Keynesianism is heterodox in so far that, according to Arestis (1996), it consists of at least three main traditions (a Keynes-like, a Kaleckian and an Institutional one). However, Post Keynesianism is in many ways fundamentally linked to the writings of John Maynard Keynes; for example, Eichner and Kregel (1975) and Chick (1995). Primarily it has to do with the kind of economic understanding that Keynes presented in his A Treatise on Probability, published in 1921, and in his seminal work The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money from 1936. One of the most prominent economists within the Keynes-like tradition of Post Keynesianism is Paul Davidson. Throughout almost all of his writings, Davidson has repeatedly argued that to understand the relevant economic processes of a modern monetary entrepreneurial macro economy you have to acknowledge and to take into account the fundamental conclusions of Keynes. Based on this understanding, theoretically as well as methodologically, he has rightfully criticized neoclassical thinking, which is basically the theoretical foundation behind much of the modern macroeconomic mainstream, for its lack of relevance to conduct a thoroughly macroeconomic analysis. However, he has done more than just criticize the mainstream. He has also tried to put forward, from the very beginning of his career, some alternative and opposing views to the mainstream understanding.

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