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 66: David Gawen Champernowne

Mauro Boianovsky


Champernowne was Keynes’s supervision student when the latter lectured in Cambridge about his forthcoming General Theory in 1933–34. As a result, Champernowne put forward in 1936 a path-breaking attempt to sort out the unemployment controversy between Keynes and Pigou. He challenged alternative views of wage determination by introducing, for the first time in the literature, the analytical role of workers’ price expectations in labour market dynamics. This anticipated aspects of Friedman’s and Phelps’s later “natural rate of unemployment hypothesis”. When his 1936 article was reprinted in 1964, Champernowne revisited the role of expectations as “links between the economic future and the present” in assets markets. His 1964 essay provided a pioneer comprehensive treatment of the theme of expectations and uncertainty in the General Theory, before it started to gain assent in some circles as the “central message” of the book.

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