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Rebalancing Keynes's contribution

Bradley Bordiss and Vishnu Padayachee

Keywords: Keynes; Temin and Vines; tract on monetary reform; national economy; mercantilism

We argue in this paper that Keynes's focus shifted from an interest primarily in the world economy up until The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919), to one focused on the national economy in the 1920s and 1930s, as the world monetary and trade system was unable to deliver full employment to the various countries participating in it. Temin and Vines (2016) argue forcefully that Keynes was interested primarily in the world economy, and we seek in this article to present a view that emphasises Keynes's contribution to national economic policy. Keynes shifted his attention away from the international economic system when it failed to work effectively in the 1920s and 1930s, and towards this economic system in the period 1941–1944, when the time was right to rebuild it. Given the difficulties experienced by the current monetary system, particularly in Europe, we seek to show the value of Keynes's writing on the national economy in the 1920s and 1930s.

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