Essays in Honour of A.P. Thirlwall
Edited by Philip Arestis, John S.L. McCombie and Roger Vickerman
Chapter 3: On Specifying the Demand for Imports in Macroeconomic Models
G.C. Harcourt When I wrote a book note for the Economic Journal in 1998 on Volume 2 of Tony Thirlwall’s splendid Selected Essays, Macroeconomic Issues From a Keynesian Perspective (1997), I said: With Tony Thirlwall what you see is what you get. He has strong views, well thought out and stuck to, he is lucid, humane and persuasive to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear – not many of us left, unfortunately. He is proud to be called, and to call himself, ‘an unreconstructed Keynesian’. He is; he is also an original and innovative economist who, within a broadly Keynesian framework, has with his papers illuminated our understanding of some of the most pressing modern issues. Of course, the content, scope and depth of Tony’s essays should have warranted a review, preferably a review article, but such is the technocratic and Philistine character of our age and profession that an appraisal of his contributions in the public domain is almost invisible, confined, as it is, to a short book note only available on the web. (Book notes are no longer published in the journal itself.) In one of his essays on ‘the input-output formulation of the foreign trade multiplier’, Tony points out that together with himself only Wonnacott (1974) and Harcourt, Karmel and Wallace (1967) treat the demand for imports in macroeconomic analysis as a function of Gross Expenditure (that is to say, gross of expenditure on imports) rather than of National Income. Even then, Wonnacott and...
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