John McCombie is one of my favourite economists. He is the co-author of the book Economic Growth And The Balance-Of-Payments Constraint, one of the most supremely insightful books.
McCombie has written a review of Marc Lavoie’s book Post-Keynesian Economics: New Foundations, which is the second edition of his book titled Foundations of Post-Keynesian Economic Analysis.
… the greatest significance of this work is that it clearly demonstrates that there is a coherent and interrelated body of economic theory that stands in marked contrast to the neoclassical framework. Indeed, with the deficiencies of the prevailing orthodoxy exposed by the subprime crisis the publication of this book could not have come at a more propitious time. Some post-Keynesians have concentrated on attacking the foundations of the neoclassical paradigm … to such an extent that it could (and has been) unfairly accused of nihilism.
But as Kuhn has pointed out, a paradigm can only be overthrown by the development of a new paradigm and Marc‘s book shows that there is a substantial corpus of Post Keynesian that meets this criterion. Criticisms of a paradigm is not enough to cause a change in the world view of the practioners …
… It is worth re-emphasizing that one of the great successes of this book is that it takes many important contributions of the Post Keynesians which may otherwise have been lost buried in the journals and integrates them into a coherent story; in a very real sense the sum of this work is greater than the parts.
Read the full review here.
by Thomas Palley
Inspired by the work of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), I have recently started a project called Economists Without Borders (Economistes Sans Frontières). Its purpose is to inoculate the global economy against the virus of neoliberalism. Last week, I had two difficult “missions” to Vienna and Warsaw.
In Vienna, I confronted an outbreak of the neoliberal globalization – free trade strain of the virus. Without doubt, this is the most virulent and dangerous of all strains. People who get infected become blind to all evidence, deaf to all argument and prone to intellectual condescension. Massachusetts Avenue in Washington DC is a hot zone of infection. The bad news is that if you are over forty and infected it is doubtful you can be cured. However, younger patients have a chance of recovery. Here is the anti-viral I prescribed titled “The Theory of Global Imbalances: Mainstream Economics vs. Structural Keynesianism”.
In Warsaw, I confronted an outbreak of Milton Friedmanism which is one of the oldest strains of neoliberal virus. Friedmanism is a gateway virus that weakens defenses against other neoliberal strains and younger minds are particularly susceptible to it. The good news is that if diagnosed early there is a good chance of recovery. However, if treatment is delayed, intellectual ossification and closed-mindedness sets in. This ossification is almost always associated with inflation obsessive compulsive disorder and austerity fever. Here is the treatment I recommend titled “Milton Friedman’s Economics and Political Economy: An Old Keynesian Critique”.
This post originally appeared here on Thomas Palley’s blog here.