The Contributions of Marx, Keynes and Kalecki
Chapter 4: Keynes’s Critique of Say’s Law
4. Keynes’s critique of Say’s Law 4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter is mainly devoted to present Keynes’s critique of Say’s Law and to point out the signiﬁcant similarities to Marx’s own critique. However, before turning to consider these issues, a number of qualiﬁcations and clariﬁcations are necessary. First of all, it is necessary to understand what Marx and Keynes meant by the term Say’s Law. Marx dealt with the law as expressed by Ricardo; Keynes, especially in The General Theory, criticized the law expressed in terms that appear quite foreign to the Ricardian formulation. Keynes’s criticism is addressed to what can be deﬁned as the neoclassical version of Say’s Law. There are signiﬁcant differences between the two versions of the law. It is then important to point out these differences. Section 4.2 is devoted to this topic and to Keynes’s criticism of Say’s Law as presented in The General Theory. Despite the differences in the deﬁnition of Say’s Law in classical and neoclassical economics, it is still true that there also exist important similarities and, for this, it is possible to ﬁnd similarities between Marx’s and Keynes’s criticisms of the law. These similarities are easier to detect in writings of Keynes other than the ﬁnal version of The General Theory. They are most evident in some earlier drafts of the book, where Keynes went as far as to use Marx’s formula (M – C– M´) to argue against the validity of Say’s Law. Section 4.3 deals...
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