The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes
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The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes

Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann

The most influential and controversial economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes was the leading founder of modern macroeconomics, and was also an important historical figure as a critic of the Versailles Peace Treaty after World War I and an architect of the Bretton Woods international monetary system after World War II. This comprehensive Companion elucidates his contributions, his significance, his historical context and his continuing legacy.
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Chapter 16: Knut Wicksell

Mauro Boianovsky

Abstract

Although Wicksell and Keynes belonged to different generations of economists, they met twice in England (1916 and 1922), when they discussed monetary stabilization and population issues. They also corresponded in 1923, when Wicksell unsuccessfully submitted a paper on machinery and unemployment to the Economic Journal. Keynes was instrumental in getting Wicksell’s Geldzins und Güterpreise translated and published as Interest and Prices in 1936. Keynes, in his 1930 Treatise on Money, applied to his second equation of the price level Wicksell’s notion of the “natural rate of interest”, removed of its Austrian capital foundations. Unlike Wicksell, Keynes did not distinguish between cumulative changes in nominal variables and noncumulative variations in real magnitudes. In the 1936 General Theory Keynes dissociate himself from Wicksell’s natural rate of interest. Nevertheless, in the preface to the German edition, he referred to Wicksell as “the most important unorthodox [macroeconomic] discussion” in the German language.

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