Patinkin was the author of Money, Interest and Prices, a book that has often been considered as the epitome if not the apex of the “neoclassical synthesis”. Money, Interest and Prices was important because of Patinkin’s attempt to integrate fiat money to the general equilibrium theory. However, Patinkin’s book was also the source of the disequilibrium interpretation of the Keynesian theory. This approach, taken up by Robert Clower, opened the way to the disequilibrium theories that developed circa the 1970s in the works of Axel Leijonhufvud, Robert Barro and Herschel Grossman, or Jean-Pascal Benassy. It also orientated Patinkin’s scholarly reading of John Maynard Keynes’s works presented in Keynes’ Monetary Thought or Anticipations of the General Theory? And other Essays on Keynes, works that established Patinkin’s reputation as a major interpreter of Keynes’s thought.
According to Pierre Rosanvallon, Keynesianism arrived very late in France but its triumph was complete. It offered a common language to a large group of senior officers and engineers working in public administration and nationalized firms. It reconciled the French tradition of Colbertism with the necessity of a modern state. Richard Arena insists also that Keynesian ideas spread in a hostile context and initially outside universities and academia where typically French economic traditions dominated. The situation in universities started to change in the 1970s and 1980s when curricula in French universities began to incorporate macroeconomic courses based on IS–LM and with the development of disequilibrium economics. The chapter retraces the unfolding of this historical process and insists on the variety of heterodox interpretations of Keynes that flourished in the French context, such as the works of Bernard Schmitt and circuitists.