The General Theory and Keynes for the 21st Century
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The General Theory and Keynes for the 21st Century

Edited by Sheila Dow, Jesper Jespersen and Geoff Tily

This book is devoted to the lasting impact of The General Theory (and Keynes’s thought) on macroeconomic theory, methodology and its relevance for understanding the post-crisis challenges of the 21st Century. A number of contributions take their departure from Keynes's presentation during the 1930's of his new macroeconomic understanding and its policy implications. Other chapters take a more pluralistic view of Keynes's ideas and their importance for contemporary debates. Further, it is demonstrated that many textbooks often misrepresent The General Theory and therefore cannot be a reliable guide to 21st Century economic policy.
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Chapter 5: What future for ‘Macroeconomics after Keynes’? A road map to restore the generality of The General Theory

Teodoro Dario Togati


This chapter addresses two key questions: why did Keynes lose his generality battle and what can be done to restore his generality claim? In answer to the first, the chapter argues that one major reason why Keynes lost his generality battle is that he did not develop a good articulation of his ‘research programme’ in Lakatosian terms. For example, unlike the Arrow–Debreu microeconomic model underlying the general equilibrium macro, the GT does not provide a unifying vision of the economy. As for the second question, this chapter seeks to identify the conditions under which the generality claim can be restored. The most important of these is the one identified by Pasinetti, namely the full-blown articulation of a ‘monetary theory of production’ research programme. This requires developing an autonomy of macro-perspective, placing the emphasis on the role of conventions, institutions and aggregate variables as emergent, persistent features of the economy.

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