Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 101: Nicholas Kaldor (1908–1986)
Nicholas Kaldor was one of the most prominent of the “Cambridge Keynesians” who defended and developed the revolutionary macroeconomics of John Maynard Keynes in the half-century after Keynes’s death (Pasinetti 2007). He became an influential post-Keynesian critic of neoclassical theory, and was a lifelong advocate of democratic socialist economic policies. Born in Budapest on 12 May 1908, Kaldor came to the London School of Economics in 1927 and remained there for 20 years, first as an undergraduate and then as a research student and lecturer. After a brief post-war spell at the United Nations in Geneva he moved to Cambridge in 1949 as a Fellow of King’s College, and spent the rest of his life there; he was belatedly promoted to Professor in 1966. Active as a writer and controversialist until the very end of his life, he died in Cambridge on 30 September 1986. The core of Kaldor’s voluminous writings can be found in the nine volumes of his selected economic essays (Kaldor 1960–89), supplemented by the posthumously published 1984 Mattioli lectures (Kaldor 1996); an excellent sample of his work is provided by Targetti and Thirlwall (1989). There are three intellectual biographies (Thirlwall 1987; Targetti 1992; King 2009). Kaldor made many important contributions to economic theory. In the 1930s he wrote on capital theory and on the theory of the firm under imperfect competition; developed a penetrating critique of equilibrium theorizing, the full significance of which only became apparent decades later; produced the first published statement of the...
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