Robert Skidelsky
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Academic papers

The relevance of Keynes
Robert Skidelsky
Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 35, issue 1, pp. 1-13 | Monday, January 17, 2011

 
Abstract
 
This paper argues that the thinking of John Maynard Keynes remains highly relevant to an understanding of the financial collapse of 2007–8 and for policy measures to enable the world to escape from the ‘great recession’. The essay explains the role of uncertainty in Keynes's theory, and the Keynesian case for fiscal and monetary ‘stimulus’. It provides a Keynesian perspective on the reform of the world's monetary system, and concludes with reflections on the role of the state and the state of economics.
 
1. The return of the master
 
When I finished my biography of Keynes in 2001 (Skidelsky 1983, 1992, 2000), his star seemed to have set. Despite a medley of New Keynesians, post-Keynesians, synthesisers, eclectics, trimmers,

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Keynes, Global Imbalances, and International Monetary Reform, Today
Robert Skidelsky and Vijay Joshi
Rebalancing the Global Economy: A Primer for Policymaking by Stijn Claessens, Simon Evenett and Bernard Hoekman (eds) | Wednesday, June 23, 2010

 
This chapter argues that the Keynes Plan of 1941 for dealing with the trade imbalances of his time is highly relevant to the problem of East Asian-US imbalances today. Just as the first Bretton Woods system rested on a “grand bargain” between the US and Britain, a new Bretton Woods would test the statesmanship of the US and China.
 
The Problem of Global Imbalances
 
As the world tentatively scrambles out of the worst recession since World War II, the future of the world monetary system remains firmly off the agenda. The global downturn had many interacting causes, but a tenable view is that the accumulation of reserves by a handful of countries in East Asia and the Middle East played a key permissive role in the collapse. Between 2003

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The Crisis of Capitalism: Keynes Versus Marx
Robert Skidelsky
The Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 45, No. 3, January 2010 pp. 321-335 | Monday, February 01, 2010

 
 
John Maynard Keynes keeps returning, like the ageing diva who goes on giving farewell performances. What does this tell us? First, it tells us that in economics there are no final victories and defeats. Rather, economic doctrines ebb and flow, obedient to changes in consciousness and in the world. But, secondly, it tells us that as the world changes, so do its structures of power. The rise and fall of different schools of economics is related to shifts in the balance of social and economic power. Marx understood this, hence his place in my title.
 
My purpose here is not to make the case for Keynes, but to consider the passage of his ideas from acceptance to rejection in the context of changing preoccupations and conditions. In this I

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Keynes in the Long Run
Robert Skidelsky
World Economics, Vol. 8, No. 4, October-December 2007 | Monday, October 01, 2007

 
I. Preliminary remarks
 
‘In the long run’, Keynes famously wrote, ‘we are all dead’. For the last twenty-five years it has been widely assumed that this applied to Keynes’s own theories. Markets were, or could be made efficient, removing the need for government stabilization policy. All that was needed was ‘control of the money supply’. The theory of efficient markets underpinned the so-called ‘Washington Consensus’. In the last ten years, evidence has accumulated that financial markets are subject to severe volatility which, in the absence of government intervention, can spill over into the real economy. So the question sixty-plus years after Keynes’s death is: is there life left in the old boy?
 
One can try to answer it in one of two

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Hayek versus Keynes: The Road to Reconciliation
Robert Skidelsky
The Cambridge Companion to Hayek, edited by Edward Feser, (Cambridge University Press, 2006) | Sunday, September 17, 2006

 
‘[Keynes] was one of the great liberals of our time. He saw clearly that in England and the United States during the nineteen-thirties, the road to serfdom lay, not down the path of too much government control, but down the path of too little, and too late. ...He tried to devise the minimum government controls that would allow free enterprise to work. The end of laissez-faire was not necessarily the beginning of communism’. (AFW Plumptre, ‘Keynes in Cambridge’, Canadian Journal of Ecoinomics, vol. 13, August 1947)
 
i.Introduction
 
The passage of time reduces the Cambridge debates of the 1930s to family quarrels. On the flattened surface stand the twin peaks of Hayek and Keynes. Their intellectual antipody seems the more palpable,

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