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Heinz D. Kurz

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Heinz D. Kurz

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Heinz D. Kurz

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Heinz D. Kurz

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Heinz D. Kurz

The chapter discusses Schumpeter’s reception of The General Theory and the criticisms he levelled at it. To what extent are these criticisms pertinent and to what extent are they based on misunderstandings and unable to be sustained? The chapter then turns briefly to the heretic elements in the analyses of Keynes and Schumpeter and shows that, important differences notwithstanding, they had more in common by temperament and vision than is typically acknowledged.

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Heinz D. Kurz

Friedrich August Hayek in the 1930s assumed the role of a main adversary of Keynes’s explanation of unemployment and economic crises. Hayek advocated an “Austrian” version of orthodox theory, building upon the works of von Mises, von Böhm-Bawerk and Pareto. Keynes had difficulties to counter Hayek’s attack on the Treatise because he was not familiar with these works. It was therefore natural for Keynes to ask Sraffa, who was familiar with the three intellectual traditions to help him out of the impasse and ward off Hayek’s attack. This Sraffa succeeded in doing. He argued that Hayek’s alternative construction was beset by a number of difficulties and inconsistencies.

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Heinz D. Kurz

Keynes and Sraffa were on friendly terms with and had great respect for one another, but when it came to economics their minds did not always meet. Keynes based his analysis largely on Marshall’s theory of value and distribution, which Sraffa criticized fiercely. Sraffa therefore had difficulties with elements in Keynes’s theory that derived from Marshall, such as the supply function for output as a whole. Sraffa helped Keynes out of an impasse when Hayek attacked the Treatise. The concept of commodity rate of interest, which Sraffa introduced on this occasion, Keynes adopted in the General Theory in his theory of liquidity preference. However, Sraffa felt that Keynes had blundered and argued that the theory was unable to support the edifice erected upon it.

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Heinz D. Kurz

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Heinz D. Kurz