Macroeconomics in the Small and the Large

Macroeconomics in the Small and the Large

Essays on Microfoundations, Macroeconomic Applications and Economic History in Honor of Axel Leijonhufvud

Edited by Roger E.A. Farmer

This book honors the work of Axel Leijonhufvud. The topics range from Keynesian economics and the economics of high inflation to the micro-foundations of macroeconomics and economic history. The authors comprise some of the very best economists active today.

Chapter 1:  Axel Leijonhufvud and the Quest for Micro-foundations: Some Reflections

David Laidler

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, financial economics and regulation, money and banking


1. Axel Leijonhufvud and the quest for micro-foundations: some reflections David Laidler* I think that I first met Axel Leijonhufvud when he was still a graduate student at Northwestern University, and, because I had the good fortune to be Bob Clower’s junior colleague during my time at University of Essex, I was kept well aware of the development of his ideas even before On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of Keynes (Leijonhufvud 1968) appeared. When it was published in 1968, Harry Johnson made sure that I was an early British reader, and I am proud to say that my copy of it bears an inscription from the author, commemorating a visit he made to University of Manchester in 1974. That, as is evident from Laidler (1974), was at a time when his influence had begun to loosen my previously rather uncritical embrace of monetarism. In short, I have been learning from Axel’s work for a long time, and I have sometimes followed it too, usually from a little to the right, but with undiminished admiration over the years. I have given this essay the sub-title ‘some reflections’ because it is probably as much informed by (no doubt prejudiced) hindsight and (no doubt inaccurate) memory as by a careful weighing of the published record. The history of macroeconomics in the second half of the twentieth century, and of Axel Leijonhufvud’s place in it, largely remains to be written, but I hope that this essay will provoke some of...

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