Robert Skidelsky
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Academic papers

Stylised Facts
Robert Skidelsky
Acta Oeconomica, Vol. 67 (S), pp. 31–35 (2017) | Friday, September 01, 2017

 
 I don’t want to say too much about Nicky Kaldor’s actual stylised facts, but about the methodological implication of the stylised facts approach. Paul Samuelson famously said, “those who can do economics, do it; those who can’t, babble about methodology”. Kaldor could certainly do economics, but he needed a methodology to enable him to do what he wanted to do. This is my excuse for babbling.
 
But let me start with his inaugural lecture at Cambridge in 1966, “Causes of the Slow Rate of Economic Growth of the United Kingdom”. My connection with the Kaldors dated from about a year or so earlier when, as a research fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, I taught Mary Kaldor politics as part of the Oxford PPE degree. Mary invited me to stay in

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How would Keynes have analysed the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009?
Robert Skidelsky
MONEY IN THE GREAT RECESSION: Did a Crash in Money Growth Cause the Global Slump? [Ed. Tim Congdon] | Friday, June 30, 2017

 
 In recent years some monetary economists have voiced scepticism about aspects of the Keynesian revolution, particularly the importance of the 1936 General Theory relative to Keynes’s entire corpus.1 These sceptics have performed a valuable service by encouraging more whole-hearted Keynesians (including the author of this chapter) to look carefully at Keynes’s earlier work, notably the 1930 Treatise on Money. Arguably, the Treatise is in many ways a better guide than the General Theory to how Keynes would have thought about the Great Recession. The sceptics, notably David Laidler, have tried to position Keynes in the larger debates about monetary theory and policy in the inter-war period, so that the undoubted originality of some of

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What Is Essential about Keynes Today?
Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Vol. LI, pp. 5-16 | Thursday, June 01, 2017

 
ABSTRACT
 
In this paper, a transcript of an address given at the 2016 Keynes Conference in Turin, I unpick the various elements of Keynesian revival in economics and explore how different schools of economists have disagreed on which aspects of Keynes’ thought are relevant to modern economic theory. Finally, I conclude with four thoughts on the relevance of Keynes for how one does economics.
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There has been a modest revival of interest in Keynes after the collapse of 2008-2009 and the subsequent mediocre ‘recovery’. I daresay graduate students no longer giggle at mention of his name as they were said to in Robert Lucas’s graduate seminar in Chicago (Lucas 1980: 18). However, we must be careful to unpick the different elements of

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Why I am European
Robert Skidelsky
Nexus 70 | Wednesday, August 12, 2015

 
 My support for the European Union is political. I shared the inspiration of the founding fathers, which to stop the repeated wars which had disfigured Europe’s history, culminating in the two great slaughters of the 20th century. But I was also interested in ‘Europe’ as an attempt to solve a large problem, that of mass killing. After the second world war, Europe, it seemed to me, invented, or rather re-invented, a structure of rule which greatly reduced the incentives to mass killing. We call it the European Union but it might just as well be called ‘voluntary empire’.
 
Voluntary empire is an attempt to correct the distortions and disfigurements brought about by nationalism and democracy, in whose name so much mass killing has happened.

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Afterword to ‘Manias, Panics, and Crashes’
Robert Skidelsky
Manias, Panics, and Crashes by Robert Z. Aliber and Charles P. Kindleberger | Thursday, January 01, 2015

 
Charles Kindleberger had a foot in both economic history and politics (One of his many books was entitled Power and Money [1970]). In economics he is known chiefly as the historian of financial instability, the subject of this absorbing book. Following Keynes's lead, he championed the role of governments as stabilizers of the economic system. But there was no world government. How, therefore, could the international economy be prevented from crashing from time to time? Out of his study of the Great Depression (The World in Depression 1929-1939 [1973]) he developed his theory of 'hegemonic stability' - the theory for which he is best known in political science. Broadly stated this is the thesis that “for the world economy to be

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