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 81: Axel Leijonhufvud

Hans-Michael Trautwein

Abstract

In 1968, Axel Leijonhufvud published a treatise On Keynesian Economics and the Economics of Keynes that offered an interpretation of the latter quite different from standard Keynesian thinking at the time. The theme that Leijonhufvud extracted from Keynes’s Treatise on Money (1930) and General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) is the incompleteness of information and resulting failures in the intertemporal coordination of activities in large, complex economic systems. He has made this the principal theme of his further work, his collections of essays bearing such titles as Information and Coordination (1981) and Macroeconomic Instability and Coordination (2000). Leijonhufvud criticizes Keynesian economics for its reduction of Keynes’s ideas to a neo-Walrasian “frictions” view of deviations from optimal general equilibrium. In recent writings he has extended that critique to dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE)-based New Keynesian economics.

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