Ann Pettifor

The Mysterious Mr. Keynes

Ann Pettifor: 14th February 2009

John Maynard Keynes must be a mysterious figure to today’s students of economics. They must hear much talk of him, and wonder who on earth he could be?

I drifted into such thoughts on a visit to Cambridge this week to hear a friend, Geoff Tily give a seminar on Keynes – to a very small group –  at Robinson College. There I met a University of Cambridge Economics lecturer who told me that the University does not teach Keynesian economics. The reason for this is that students are not examined on Keynesian economics.

And so students remain mystified.  As do I.


10 thoughts on “The Mysterious Mr. Keynes”

  1. Just as the student at the LSE who was told she couldn’t write her PhD on the money supply, Ann.

    The reason? “That’s not capitalism!”

    In other words, that’s the difference between myths and mystification of economists v de-

    mystfication of self-taught thinkers!

    Sighingly yours,
    Organiser, Forum for Stable Currencies

  2. Shocking for me.

    In my country all that happens happens mainly through government

    intervention in any way imaginable.

    Therefore Keynesian economics is one of the core types of economics which we are presented with as

    introduction to the subject.
    But now that I dwell furthur into it. The support of keynesian system of economics is falling and I wonder whether

    the current crisis will get my teachers to rethink their monetarist/noninterventionist lecturing

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  4. Pingback: Keynes no longer taught at Cambridge?

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  6. Worstall’s contribution is not helpful, as the responses on his own blog indicate. Surely Ann is suggesting that what is taught as Keynes

    (Keynesianism) bears very little resemblance to Keynes’s actual theories and writings. And that this is true even in Cambridge. Who could


    Certainly the writings of Dasgupta, Dornbusch and Mankiw may offer a useful guide to ‘Keynesianism’, but they offer no guide to

    Keynes. Mankiw has even issued a disclaimer: ‘If New Keynesian economics is not a true representation of Keynes’s views, then so much the worse

    for Keynes’ (‘The Reincarnation of Keynesian Economics’, European
    Economic Review, 36 (2–3), April 1992, p. 560).

    Yet it is to Keynes not

    Mankiw that policymakers are now turning.

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